Civil service strike
Following a strike call issued by French public service trade unions, a national day of action comprising strikes and demonstrations took place on 6 March.
Apart from demands for the reappraisal of salary levels (Record FR9702114N), the unions are seeking improvements in public service, as well as further job creation. On the whole the strike received a lower level of support than those of 1995 and 1996, despite a relatively high turnout (around 50%) among Ministry of Education staff, where the highest number of civil servants are concentrated. Participation in demonstrations held in both Paris and other cities exceeded the unions' predictions. The Government, seeking new cost-cutting options, makes no secret of the fact that it would like to see a reduction in public service staff. In this context, unions see the 6 March protest as a possible prelude to action on a wider scale.