France's protest movement over the government's controversial pension reforms appears to be at a crossroads.
After more than a month since its last major demonstration on May 1, French unions held a fresh national day of action on Tuesday (June 6).
But turnout was lower than before, sparking questions over the future of the protests.
CGT claimed 900,000 people took part across the country on Tuesday. The same union said 2.3 million protesters turned out on May 1.
The head of the CFDT union, Laurent Berger, is one of the highest-profile figures to have suggested that the protests are now over. He told FranceInfo that “the match is ending” and that “this will be the last demonstration against the retirement reforms, in this format”.
But Jean-Luc Mélénchon, leader of the far-left La France Insoumise party, pledged the “fight will continue”, while secretary-general of the CGT, Sophie Binet, said: “Nothing will be the same if they decide to maintain this reform.”
Nevertheless, it is unclear whether there will be further strikes. Unions involved in the protests are set to hold a conference to discuss the future on June 13. No future strike dates have yet been announced.
As well as dwindling numbers of people at the protests on Tuesday, the strikes also had less impact.
Between January and May of this year - especially in March - France saw widespread strike action in a number of sectors as unions battled the reforms, which will see the pension age rise from 62 to 64.
The transport sector in particular suffered, with trains and flights cancelled. There were also fuel shortages after unions blocked access to refineries. Bin collectors in Paris also initiated a strike, which saw the streets of the capital overflowing with rubbish.
On Tuesday, there were delays and cancellations at several French airports, including Paris-Orly, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes.
But France's state-owned railway operator SNCF said its services would only be "very lightly affected", with 9 out of 10 national trains running. In Paris, the region's transport operator RATP said services would run as normal. International services, such as Eurostar, were unaffected.