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France hit by Thursday general strike

06-24-2010 17:56 BJT

PARIS, June 24 (Xinhua) -- France's Thursday was hit by general strike, as labor unions planned to protest government's pension reform. Public sectors ranging from transport, musees, schools and the post system partially fell into paralysation.

The national railway company (SNCF) posted Wednesday a notice in advance, expecting halved traffic for high-speed TVG trains and urban transport since Wednesday night onwards through Thursday. Paris regional metro system, bus and trams also cut the capacity even during rush hour.

The Louvre Musee, Orsay Musee and Pompidou Musee, all French cultural icons, confirmed to Xinhua that they've closed doors to the public to join Thursday's general strike. Paris Guimet Musee said because employees left off work Thursday, the musee wouldn't resume normal until Friday.

In primary schools, one out of two teachers would participate in the protesting army, a French teaching union predicted.

Additionally, strike notices were observed in some private sectors, including banks, automobile shops and supermarkets.

Last week, French government announced to prolong statutory retirement age from present 60 to 62 in 2018, triggered strong opposition from labor unoins.

The biggest union federation CGT expected that there would be a million French to take to street to voice against the government's pension reform proposal on the day.

Labor Minister Eric Woerth, however, has stated the government's firm determination to push forward the reform no matter how massive the Thursday mobilization would be.

According to a poll published by French daily newspaper Le Figaro on Wednesday, around 58 percent French people consider the pension reform "acceptable," while on Tuesday, business daily Les Echos posted an another poll showing 56 percent were against the reform.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his willingness to continue negotiation with unions on Tuesday.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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