France set for widespread strike disruption

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The Independent Online

French train lines, public transport, schools and day care centres face disruptions next week as unions strike in protest over president Nicolas Sarkozy's policies on jobs and the economy.

The national train network and the Paris public transport authority have not yet released details on how service will be affected.

Demonstrations are planned in at least 70 cities and towns throughout France on Tuesday, with the largest march scheduled in Paris, the CGT union said.

Unions say that amid the weak economy, Mr Sarkozy's conservative government has not offered satisfactory plans on jobs, salaries, purchasing power and working conditions.

Unions also hope to fight government efforts to reform French pensions.

Teachers are also protesting over job cuts and day care employees are angry about a reorganisation plan.