Strikes across France shut Eiffel Tower; air traffic controllers ground flights

PARIS – The Eiffel Tower closed, many school kids across France have no classes and air traffic controllers are staying off work to take part in a nationwide day of protests and strikes over an array of grievances against the government.

Thursday’s walkout by air traffic controllers demanding better working and retirement conditions prompted the cancellation of half of flights. It was the second day of a two-day strike, and more are planned in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, railway workers, health care providers, energy sector personnel and others honoured an unrelated general strike – partially to register discontent against a government reform plan that reduces workplace protections coveted by many employees.

A spokeswoman for the Eiffel Tower said many employees of the famed Paris landmark took part in solidarity with the overall movement.

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