French public and private workers take to the streets on Thursday to protest government economic policies and rising job cuts. According to the latest French poll, more than 70 percent of the population supports Thursday's strikes.
Labour unions called for strike action to protest ongoing restructuring and job cuts in the public and private sectors across the country.
All the main unions will participate in the stoppage on Thursday. The public transport workers’ strike is due to begin on Wednesday at 8 pm and last until Friday morning.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy offered a series of concessions in January but disgruntled union leaders called for a second round of public protests.
On Thursday, work of the postal, telecom and energy sectors will also be affected.
German tyre manufacturer Continental announced the closure of a plant in northern France at a cost of 1,120 jobs, while Japan's Sony said it was shedding 311 jobs in the southwest.
Furious workers at Total have called for a 24-hour strike after the oil-giant announced the suppression of 555 posts in France despite a record profit of 13.9 billion euros in 2008.
The French government has introduced a 26 billion euro ($34 billion) stimulus plan to help revive the economy. President Sarkozy offered up to 2.65 billion euros of additional aid in the wake of the protests in January, primarily to help vulnerable households.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said last Friday “the government would not agree to further concessions, whatever happens on Thursday.”
Date created : 2009-03-19