Most of France's public services were badly hit by a one-day strike of over 20,000 workers on Thursday (13 May).
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Background: Most of France's public services were badly hit by a one-day strike of over 20,000 workers on Thursday (13 May). Demonstrations were also organised by the two largest trade unions: the Workers General Confederation (CGT) and the French Workers Democratic Confederation (CFDT).
During the day, rubbish began to pile up in the streets as refuse workers joined the strike. People travelling on the railways were also affected. Trains on the inter-city routes were at a minimum, although some local trains did run.
Television broadcasts were restricted to two news bulletins and an evening film. But the newspapers were unaffected and appeared on the streets with reports on the strikes.
The CGT CFDT have been making a number of demands in various industries and services. They decided to link the claims together in one day of national stoppages.
The strikes and demonstrations were the latest in a series of similar union moves aimed at pressuring the government into reducing unemployment and working hours. They are also seeking a change in the retirement age from 65 to 60.