Commuters on the Paris metro faced another day of travel havoc Thursday as unions pressed their strike against a planned pension reform. (Photo: AFP/Philippe LOPEZ) Officials have said they are ready to negotiate, with Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer meeting teachers’ representatives on Friday to try to stave off another day of class shutdowns. “It was an intense and frank meeting … but we still need details, and maintain our call to strike on Tuesday,” Stephane Crochet of the SE-Unsa teachers’ union said. Unions are hoping for a repeat of 1995, when they forced a rightwing government to back down on pension reforms after three weeks of metro and rail strikes just before Christmas. The prospect of a protracted standoff has businesses fearing big losses during the crucial year-end festivities, and travellers worried that their holiday plans are compromised. “Right now it’s a catastrophe here, but we’re hoping there will be a solution before Christmas,” Frederic Masse, a foie gras producer at the sprawling Rungis wholesale food market south of Paris, told AFP on Friday. The capital city was again choked by huge traffic jams as most metro lines remained shut, only a handful of buses and trams were running, and… Read full this story
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