France strikes: Where are the French feeling the pinch?

For a week, French union workers have been protesting government plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62 and the full state pension age from 65 to 67. Headlines Monday warned of fuel shortages and gas prices have jumped in response – but the gas pumps are not the only place where the French are feeling the impact of the strikes.

Road closures, traffic buildup

Jacques Brinon/AP
Youth throw items at riot police officers, unseen, during clashes in Nanterre, outside Paris, Monday Oct. 18, 2010. French oil workers are intensifying their fight against President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to raise the retirement age to 62, a conflict that has hobbled transport and sparked scattered gas shortages. French youth who have rallied to the cause, meanwhile, burned tires or set up blockades outside some schools in Paris and nearby suburbs on Monday.

Truckers joined the strikes over the weekend and have planned “go-slow” protests on several roads and highways – purposely driving at speeds significantly lower than the speed limit in order to create traffic delays, the BBC reported. Truckers staged the protests on motorways near Paris and several provincial cities, according to Agence France-Presse, and drivers blocked access to goods supply and fuel depots.

Across the country, protesters blocked streets, sometimes turning over cars and setting them on fire.

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