More than 100,000 strikers shouting, "stop the rise the cost of living", marched through the centre of Paris Thursday (December 6) in protest against inflation.
TGV Pan Stationary Train and empty lines
SV Traffic lights not working Tilt to street
LV Passengers enter coach
SV Uncollected rubbish by roadside (4 shots)
TGV Heavy traffic on highway (3 shots)
GV Heavy traffic
GV Army trucks along road
GV Post Office and Strike Banner on Wall (2 shots)
GV & SV Closed school (3 shots)
SV Demonstrators with banners marching along road
SV Leaders at head of march Pan to onlookers
SV People watch from truck
GV Pan Demonstrators filling street
Initials SC/118 SC/206
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Background: More than 100,000 strikers shouting, "stop the rise the cost of living", marched through the centre of Paris Thursday (December 6) in protest against inflation.
The march was the highlight of a 24-hour national general strike which disrupted air and ground transport, power supplies and factory production.
At the head of the mile-long demonstration were Socialist Party Leader Francois Mitterand and Communist Party Chief Georges Marchais.
The strike was claimed to be the most widespread since the 1968 student-worker uprising against General De Gaulle's Government. But it did not bring the total shutdown that its organisers had predicted.
Buses and Metro services were reduced by no more than half in Paris, although only one train in four ran from the Paris suburbs and commuters driving to work caused traffic jams on the city cutskirts.
The beginning of the strike was marked by a succession of breakfast-time power cuts.
Virtually all newspapers were closed down and radio and television programmes from the state-run broadcasting service consisted of old films and recorded music.
Some factories closed down entirely -- others like the giant Renault car firm operated at half pace. The Paris Stock Exchange was closed and the curtain stayed down at many theatres.
Trade Union anxiety over inflation was heightened by news that prices rose by 1.1 per cent in October -- the highest monthly rate in five years and equivalent to more than 13 per cent unless the inflation rate could be arrested.
But on Wednesday evening (December 5) French Prime Minister Pierre Messmer denounced the strike as a danger to the economy.
"The unions are making fools of you", he told Frenchmen.
At the same time he explained a new anti-inflation package announced by the Government earlier in the day ... It aims to reduce the amount of money in circulation with credit restrictions, a tightening of price controls and cuts in state spending.
SYNOPSIS: Deserted stations and empty railway lines in Paris on Thursday - one of the effects of a twenty-four hour national general strike against soaring prices. Only one train in four ran from the Paris suburbs but the Metro was reduced by less than half.
The first sign of the strike came with power cuts at breakfast time.
Claimed as the biggest strike since 1968 - it was far from total.
Uncollected rubbish piled up in the streets.
And office workers apparently stayed at home in their thousands for fear of not being able to get to work.
Those who drove their cars to work caused traffic jams on the city outskirts.
Newspapers did not publish. Some factories shut their gates. Others like Renault, worked at half pace.
Army trucks were laid on for the day as public transport.
But few people used them.
Postal services were badly hit. The Paris Stock Exchange was shut and the curtain stayed down at many theatres.
Many schools and universities were closed.
But in most parts of France, shops and stores opened for business as usual.
The highlight of the strike was a protest march of more than one-hundred-thousand strikers through the centre of Paris.
At the head of the mile long march - Socialist Party Leader Francois Mitterand and Communist Party Chief Georges Marchais.
The previous day the French Government announced a new anti-inflation package. And French Prime Minister Pierre Messmer attacked the strike as a danger to the economy.