More than 12,000 demonstrators carried banners through the streets of Paris, Mar. 14, in support of a 24-hour strike by 1,100,000 civil servants throughout France.
More than 12,000 demonstrators carried banners through the streets of Paris, Mar. 14, in support of a 24-hour strike by 1,100,000 civil servants throughout France. Led by state undertakers and gravediggers in uniform, the procession moved from the Town Hall to the Finance Ministry, where they dispersed quietly after a delegation had been received.
Uncollected refuse littered the streets, postal services stopped, and telegraph and telephone communications were disrupted. Customs offices at road, rail and shipping centres remained closed, municipal employees abandoned their desks, cold meals were served in schools because of the absence of catering staff, and water pressure was low in some districts of Paris. Air travel was also seriously affected by the strike of air traffic control staff, and there were few European flights from Orly and Le Bourget.
Other officials - such as police and prison officers, who are forbidden to strike, and teachers, who recently completed a campaign of strikes - expressed their support for the action. Public transport workers will call a token strike later.
Government workers unions are protesting against the treatment of their wage demands, notably for a minimum of 500NF - about GBP35 - a month. Many earn appreciably less than that, and successive increases of two and three per cent due this year are felt to be insufficient.