Massive chaos as largest strike in years hits France for 2nd Day
A nationwide general strike has hit France for a second day in a row over planned pension reforms by the government, causing chaos across the country.
Schools remained closed on Friday and hospitals were understaffed. Reports said the cancellation of rush-hour trains into Paris has caused a huge traffic jam around the capital.
According to traffic app Styadin, traffic jams totaling more than 350 kilometers clogged the main roads in and around the capital as many commuters took to their cars.
On the first day of the general strike on Thursday, about a million workers held protests that later turned violent after police tear-gassed demonstrators in Paris.
The strike, the largest since 1995, was started against President Emmanuel Macron‘s plan to overhaul the pension system that would see workers retiring later or facing reduced payouts.
Hundreds of thousands of strikers paralyzed the transport system on the first day of industrial action which prompted closure of schools across the nation.
According to union leaders, more than 1.5 million people turned out across the country, with police using tear gas to disperse them.
Just in Paris alone, tens of thousands of people took to the streets, while more than 6,000 police officers were deployed with a decree to forbid the protesters from gathering on the Champs-Élysées or at police stations.
Police in riot gear used tear gas and truncheons to disperse protesters near the Place de la Republique. The judiciary 57 people were detained on Thursday.
Strikers on Friday were set to continue a similar pattern across the country, with widespread rail cancellations and disruption to flights expected across the nation.