The nation ground to a halt as train drivers, teachers, hospital staff and utility workers joined the mass protest against Sarkozy’s austerity measures.
Fuel pumps were already running dry after week-long strikes at refineries and less than half of scheduled airline flights will be running today.
Flights still arriving into France have been warned to carry enough fuel for a return journey. Truck drivers slowed traffic through the city centre and strikers staged sit-down protests on train lines.
Despite overwhelming public support, the walkout appears to have fallen on deaf ears, with the government refusing to back down and the senate expected to pass the bill tomorrow.