Paris - Thousands of French train drivers, teachers and air traffic controllers were set to go on strike on Thursday in a major day of protest against French President Emmanuel Macron's reform drive.
The walk-outs and demonstrations are the latest test of strength for the 40-year-old centrist leader as he pushes ahead with a new phase of his agenda to overhaul the state railways and other public services.
The state railway operator SNCF has warned that only 40% of high-speed TGV services will be running on Thursday, and just one in four regular trains across the country.
It is the first day of a three-month wave of strikes announced by unions that will see their members walk off the job for two out of every five days between April and June in a new and experimental form of protest.
The disruption is expected to cause a major headache for management even on non-strike days because trains and staff will not be where they are supposed to be.
France's civil aviation authority meanwhile said a third of flights into and out of the main Paris airports of Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Beauvais would be cancelled on Thursday because of industrial action by air traffic controllers.
Air France strike on Friday
As the transport strike is set to end on Friday, Air France workers will begin their own strike which will involve their cabin crew and pilots and could lead to more cancellations. If you have flights booked on the Friday or Saturday you can rebook for a different day without paying change fees.