World

Strikes across France shut schools, Eiffel Tower as air traffic controllers ground flights

  • Travelers walk in the Lyon Airport, central France, Thursday, April 9, 2015. French air traffic controllers called a two-day strike in a quarrel over working and retirement conditions, prompting the cancellation of 50 percent of flights across France. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

    Travelers walk in the Lyon Airport, central France, Thursday, April 9, 2015. French air traffic controllers called a two-day strike in a quarrel over working and retirement conditions, prompting the cancellation of 50 percent of flights across France. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)  (The Associated Press)

  • A traveler looks at a departure board at Lyon Airport, central France, Thursday, April 9, 2015. French air traffic controllers called a two-day strike in a quarrel over working and retirement conditions, prompting the cancellation of 50 percent of flights across France. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

    A traveler looks at a departure board at Lyon Airport, central France, Thursday, April 9, 2015. French air traffic controllers called a two-day strike in a quarrel over working and retirement conditions, prompting the cancellation of 50 percent of flights across France. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)  (The Associated Press)

  • A traveler waits at Lyon Airport entrance, central France, Thursday, April 9, 2015. French air traffic controllers called a two-day strike in a quarrel over working and retirement conditions, prompting the cancellation of 50 percent of flights across France. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

    A traveler waits at Lyon Airport entrance, central France, Thursday, April 9, 2015. French air traffic controllers called a two-day strike in a quarrel over working and retirement conditions, prompting the cancellation of 50 percent of flights across France. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)  (The Associated Press)

The Eiffel Tower closed, many school kids across France have no classes and air traffic controllers are staying off work to take part in a nationwide day of protests and strikes over an array of grievances against the government.

Thursday's walkout by air traffic controllers demanding better working and retirement conditions prompted the cancellation of half of flights. It was the second day of a two-day strike, and more are planned in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, railway workers, health care providers, energy sector personnel and others honored an unrelated general strike — partially to register discontent against a government reform plan that reduces workplace protections coveted by many employees.

A spokeswoman for the Eiffel Tower said many employees of the famed Paris landmark took part in solidarity with the overall movement.