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France National Strike Alert

Updated on 1 December 2019

The Situation:

On 5 December, unions from various sectors intend to strike across the country. The unions are opposed to the government's plan to introduce a universal point-based pension system.

According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the strikes will primarily affect public transport with cancellations and severe delays expected on trains, metros, buses and trams. Disruption and cancellations to Eurostar services between London St. Pancras and Gare du Nord are expected. Other international rail services such as those to the Netherlands and Belgium could also be affected.

In addition to public transportation, air travel and road travel may also be disrupted. Striking truck drivers may cause delays or blockages on major roads while strike action by Air France workers and air traffic controllers may also cause disruptions.

According to the U.S. Embassy, this strike could continue beyond 5 December, and many trains and flights have already been cancelled. In conjunction with the strike, various labor unions are planning large demonstrations in major cities.  The “Gilets Jaunes” (Yellow Vests) are expected to join these marches.

For information on train and Paris Metro and bus disruptions, please see the links below:

Possible Effects:

  • Blocked roads or slow downs which may cause significant delays

  • Increased traffic, especially near city centers and government buildings

  • Protests and demonstrations, which can attract unwanted attention

  • Limited or unavailable transportation services, especially throughout major cities

  • Increased presence of security personnel, such as local police

  • Delayed and/or cancelled flights and Eurostar services

Mitigating Factors to Apply:

  • Avoid all protests and large crowds, which have the possibility of turning violent

  • Allow extra time for travel

  • Prepare for disruptions caused by public transportation strikes and protests

  • Avoid traveling through city centers, instead utilizing bypasses

  • Monitor local and social media for updates

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities

  • Confirm flight status before departing to the airport

  • Enroll in a Safe Traveler program from your preferred embassy to receive warnings

DISCLAIMER and Hold Harmless

Disclaimer: LSDS gathers information from multiple sources and offers insight and perspective to travelers. Sources cannot be validated for accuracy in every instance. Travelers assume all risk associated with their travel and are responsible for the decisions associated with travel and for their own safety. Users of this reference document agree, to hold harmless LSDS (LLC) its employees and clients associated with any risk or injury incurred during travel.


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