France’s General Confederation of Labour (CGT) Tuesday announced that the French energy workers protesting against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform cut power to Rungis, the world’s largest wholesale fresh food market located near Paris.
“The power source to Rungis is cut this morning,” the local CGT energy branch said, referring to a food market that covers 234 hectares and generates revenues of US$10 billion a year.
A spokeswoman for Rungis International Market said emergency power kicked in when the outage began at 5:30 (local time) and that there was no disruption to trade.
The power outage, which lasted 90 minutes, also halted services on the Orlyval rail shuttle serving Orly, the French capital’s second busiest airport.
Today’s action demonstrates the growing determination of French left-wing unions to defend workers’ rights against Macron’s intransigence.
Although the country is facing a wave of street strikes and protests, which has not stopped since the beginning of December, the French president does not back down in his pension system reform project, which distributes the burden of change unequally between employers and workers.
In turn, the reform of the pension system, which would be the biggest change to the system since World War II, is appreciated by the French government as the opportunity to introduce rules that generate greater “flexibility” of the labor force, which implies a deterioration of working conditions.
Besides opposing these claims, left-wing unions continue to denounce that workers will have to work longer to obtain a full pension.