At the end of a day of record mobilization, the inter-union will continue to put pressure in the street and asks to be received "urgently" by Emmanuel Macron so that he withdraws a pension reform which the Senate has accelerated the examination in the night, in spite of the bronca of the left.
The Elysée did not respond directly to this request from the unions and was content to ensure that "the door of the executive has always remained open" to discuss this flagship reform of the Head of State.
If the unions had promised to put France on Tuesday "to a stop", the rate of strikers remained a little below the records for this new day of action.
But the processions in the street exceeded the mobilization record set on January 31, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior and those from the CGT.
The police counted 1.28 million demonstrators and the CGT 3.5 million, against 1.27 million and 2.5 million respectively for January 31. The inter-union advances "more than 3 million" demonstrators.
This mobilization "is historic with regard to the last 40 or 50 years", estimated Laurent Berger, the leader of the CFDT.
Dismissing the risk of a breathlessness of the processions, the inter-union, which always presents a united front, called Tuesday evening for two new days of actions and demonstrations, first Saturday then next week, when Senate and Assembly will try to agree in a joint committee (CMP) on the bill carrying the reform, most likely on the 15th, according to parliamentary sources.
While renewable strikes affect key sectors of the economy, the inter-union considered that "the silence of the President of the Republic constitutes a serious democratic problem which inevitably leads to a situation which could become explosive".
The executive is counting on the adoption of the reform by the Senate by Sunday and is considering "a vote on March 16" in both chambers.
The right-wing senatorial majority gave a big boost overnight to the examination of the most controversial article of the text, the postponement of the legal age of departure from 62 to 64 years old.
After having cut short the debate thanks to a tool of the internal regulations, the Senate made the majority of the amendments of left, which ended up leaving the hemicycle. Debates will resume on Wednesday afternoon on this article.
As in previous mobilizations, the processions were generally calm on Tuesday despite some clashes between certain hooded demonstrators and the police in Paris, Nantes, or even in Lyon and Rennes where water cannons were used.
In Paris, where the encryption of the procession played the big difference between the count of the CGT (700,000) and the police headquarters (81,000), 43 people were arrested.
The rates of strikers remained a little below the best scores recorded since the beginning of the movement, among railway workers (39% against 46.3% on January 19) as among teachers and at EDF (47.65% of employees on strike according to management, compared to 50% on January 19).
In the state civil service as a whole, nearly one in four agents was on strike, compared to 28% during the first day of action on January 19.
Everywhere in France, the processions were very provided on Tuesday.
The number of demonstrators was between 6,000 (prefecture) and 30,000 (CGT) in Nice, between 13,000 and 23,000 in Bayonne, between 20,500 and 55,000 in Grenoble.
In Lyon, Audrey Sivadon, a 27-year-old engineer, and Gabrielle Laloy Borgna, a 26-year-old doctoral student, who participated in almost all the previous demonstrations, expressed their hope that they could still change things.
"The reform will pass, then will it be implemented?" Asked Gabrielle Laloy Borgna. "We still have an ounce of hope, otherwise we wouldn't be here," added Audrey Sivadon.
In Marseille, the CGT reported 245,000 demonstrators (against 205,000 on January 31), 30,000 according to the prefecture (40,000 on January 31).
The French remain very largely opposed in the polls to the postponement of the legal age of departure, even if they think that it will be implemented in fine.
In education, the ministry reported 32.71% of striking teachers. The Snuipp-FSU, the leading primary union, has identified 60% of striking college and high school teachers.
The secretary general of CGT Energy, Sébastien Ménesplier, has forecast a "dark week" in the sector, with production cuts mainly in nuclear power.
"Wild" power cuts affected up to 4,000 inhabitants in the morning in Boulogne-sur-Mer and its surroundings, according to Enedis.
More than 2,000 homes were also deprived of electricity in Annonay (Ardèche), stronghold of Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt, according to the same source.
Fuel shipments were blocked Tuesday morning at the exit of "all refineries" in France (TotalEnergies, Esso-ExxonMobil and Petroineos), according to the CGT-Chimie union.
And in gas, three of the four LNG terminals in France were shut down for "seven days" on Monday by the unions.
"If the reform is adopted, it is unlikely that the mobilization will be maintained at this level", anticipates a government source, which expects a disengagement of the reformist unions.
Faced with "the deadlock situation", Emmanuel Macron must "find a way out from above", "or else a dissolution" of the National Assembly, "or else a referendum", pleaded Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI) to Marseilles.
The SNCF plans a slightly improved transport offer for Wednesday, with a third of the trains in circulation for the TGV and TER, against a fifth on Tuesday.
Thursday, traffic will again be "disturbed", according to the company, all of whose unions have launched a renewable strike.
03/08/2023 03:54:52 - Paris (AFP) - © 2023 AFP