Regional authorities in Paris, France, call on police to intervene to end strike by Transdev bus drivers – .

Regional authorities in Paris, France, call on police to intervene to end strike by Transdev bus drivers – .

Transdev bus drivers in the Seine-et-Marne and Val d’Oise regions, near the French capital, oppose the plan to open the regional bus network to competition from private providers. As they enter their sixth week of strike action, with new deposits joining the fight and the possibility that the strike will spread throughout Ile-de-France, the regional authorities are asking the police to intervene and to break the pickets set up by the drivers.

A Transdev bus [Credit: Flickr/Semvatac]

The board of directors of the Ile-de-France bus network met on Monday, chaired by the president of Ile-de-France, the former minister of education and finance, Valérie Pécresse. In a press release, the board of directors asked “the State to intervene in the most appropriate conditions to ensure the unblocking of bus depots and thus allow the operation of the minimum service legitimately expected by users”.

At the same time, the former president of the Post Office and the Parisian rail network, Jean-Paul Bailly, would lead “a mission of reconciling points of view” between the strikers and the management of Transdev.

Pécresse’s appeal to the police to crush the pickets is a frontal attack on the right to strike. This ties in with Transdev’s provocative and deceptive statements that the strike created an “urban guerrilla climate” in the Paris region. The objective is to suppress the legitimate demands of the workers in the face of the social attacks of which they are victims and to prepare the ground for a police aggression against the strikers.

The state fears an eruption of the class struggle against attacks on workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, as workers’ anger mounts in the transportation sector. German railway workers have been on strike for weeks this summer and private bus drivers have called a strike in the UK. Transport strikes broke out in Lyon and Chambéry in France, while a strike by garbage collectors in the Aix-Marseille region began on September 30 against an increase in working hours.

At Transdev, employees oppose the restructuring of working conditions, resulting from a regressive agreement negotiated with the main unions in the company. It provides for longer driving hours, a wage freeze and a loss of paid vacation days.


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