(PARIS) — Most French trains are at a standstill, schools are closed and the Eiffel Tower is warning visitors to stay away as unions hold nationwide strikes and protests over the government’s retirement reform.
Paris deployed 6,000 police for what’s expected to be a major demonstration Thursday through the capital, as subway stations across the city were shuttered, multiplying traffic jams.
Public sector workers fear President Emmanuel Macron’s reform will force them to work longer and shrink their pensions. The transportation minister said he will meet with unions Thursday to try to defuse tensions.
The SNCF railway said about nine out of 10 high-speed trains are canceled, as are about 30 percent of Air France’s domestic flights.
Paris monuments also warned of strike disruptions, and many tourists canceled plans to visit.