Plan for new strikes fizzles in France

Planned transport strikes in France fizzled Wednesday because a leading labor union backtracked from an earlier announcement of protests against the government's pension reform proposals. Paris commuter traffic was operating mostly normally Wednesday, the RATP network said. The CGT labor union had originally called a full-out strike, then later urged less disruptive, briefer and more localized protests - such as handing out union pamphlets. A strike scheduled for Thursday on the national rail network was canceled, the CGT said. With train employees split over how to proceed, several other unions threatened actions next week. Before the plans fell through, the strike was set to be the third rail and transport strike of the season over President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reforms.