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Widespread Strikes Hit France


Union-led strikes are threatening to paralyze France this week.

The strikes could disrupt rail and air traffic as well as schools. Union leaders say they expect hundreds of thousands of people to take to the streets Tuesday.

The mass action is to protest a government proposal to raise the country's retirement age from 60 to 62.

Faced with an economic downturn, French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government has said that raising the retirement age could save the country billions of dollars.

According to one survey, three out of four French people support the labor action. But the same poll shows that 65 percent doubt it will have any effect on the government's plans.

In London, workers on the undergound train system began a strike to protest a plan to cut 800 jobs. Thousands more workers, ranging from station employees to drivers, were expected to walk out Monday evening. The 24-hour strike will force millions of commuters to use buses, cars and bicycles to get to work Tuesday morning.

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