French Unions Begin Nationwide Strike amid Rising Inflation

Tuesday marked the beginning of a nationwide strike in France, with trade unions demanding wage increases amid decades-high inflation, posing the stiffest challenge to President Emmanuel Macron since his re-election in May.

The strike, which primarily affected public sectors such as schools and transportation, is an extension of the week-long industrial action that has interrupted France’s major refineries and petrol stations’ supply.

The left-wing CGT union has called for continued walkouts into a fourth week at TotalEnergies, despite the oil giant reaching a deal on Friday that included a 7% wage raise and a bonus. The CGT asked for a 10% raise in salary, citing inflation and the firm’s huge profits.

As stress rises in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy, the strikes have already spilled over into other parts of the energy sector, including nuclear giant EDF, where maintenance work crucial for Europe’s power supply will be delayed.