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French Air Traffic Controllers, Taxi Drivers Join Protests Against Labor Conditions

Paris, January 27 (RHC)-- In France, air traffic controllers went on a walkout and taxi drivers disrupted traffic by burning tires on Tuesday in protest against labor conditions. The so-called Black Tuesday of strikes saw the two groups joining civil servants, hospital workers and teachers in the protest action.

According to Paris police, 20 people were detained in connection with the strikes. Taxi drivers lit bonfires on a major highway leading to the capital, Paris. One in five flights was also canceled in the city, while other flights faced delays.

Local television reported that two people were injured at Orly Airport when a shuttle bus tried to force its way past a blockade by taxi drivers, who say they are suffering unfair competition from the U.S.-based transport company, Uber.

Dozens of the taxi drivers tried to march onto an eight-lane bypass, but police pushed them back with tear gas. Teachers are also on strike over wages, education reforms and unfair working conditions. 

The protests are the latest in a string of challenges to the administration of President Francois Hollande amid low economic growth and a record-high unemployment rate.

Uber has faced legal challenges from governments all around Europe. Its lowest-cost service is banned in France and two Uber executives go on trial next month in Paris for fraud.

Edited by Ed Newman
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