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French protesters cut power to largest produce market in world

Christian Fernsby |
Last week, French union CGT-Énergie informed its members about the ongoing strikes and demonstrations against president Emmanuel Macron's proposed changes to the country's pension system.

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Protests are continuing this week, and true to its word, they have. On Tuesday, energy workers represented by CGT-Énergie shut off the electricity in some southern sectors of Paris, disrupting the rail service to Orly airport, leaving some 35,000 households in the dark, and forcing Rungis, the world's biggest fresh produce market, to rely on its emergency generators.

"It's symbolic. It made a buzz and that's what everyone wants," Franck Jouanno, a CGT-Énergie representative, told local news outlets. "It's not the end of the world to have a power cut. In general it doesn't last more than a morning."

A spokesperson for the Rungis International Market stated that the emergency power kicked on at about 5:30 on Tuesday morning, and the outage lasted for 90 minutes. The market was still operational, despite CGT's best efforts. And 5:30 a.m. is practically mid-morning in some parts of Rungis; the seafood section opens at 2 a.m. most days, and the meat and horticulture departments get their start an hour later.

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