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France National Strike Alert

Updated on 11 December 2019

The Situation:

Since 5 December, severe transportation disruptions and mass gatherings have been reported throughout France. Unions have announced two additional mass walk-outs and demonstrations for 12 December and 17 December.

Transport services were once again badly disrupted on Wednesday 11 December as workers continued their indefinite strikes over plans to reform the French pension system.

In the initial strike on 5 December, between 800,000 and 1.5 million people marched in Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, Rennes, Toulouse, among other cities. Some clashes among demonstrators and significant traffic disruptions were reported. On 7 December, demonstrations regarding pension reform continued alongside Yellow Vests protests. Significant traffic disruptions continued through the weekend. Another mass demonstration occurred on 10 December with thousands in attendance.

Air traffic controllers have planned to protest through 13 December. Cancellations and delays are likely. Eurostar services will also likely be affected.

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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