Some 210,000 public sector workers marched through French cities on Thursday in widening protests over pay, reforms and job cuts that have sent a sharp warning to President Jacques Chirac's conservative government.
On the third day of protests, some schools closed because of a one-day strike by teachers, and a stoppage by air traffic controllers grounded flights at Bordeaux in western France.
The protests followed a warning strike by rail workers that severely disrupted rail traffic across France on Wednesday and protests by energy and postal workers earlier this week.
Unions said 50,000 had joined a protest march that snaked noisily through Paris, though police put the number at 20,000.
"I'm protesting against the quasi-reforms the government is carrying out. They're killing the public services. It has to stop. Soon there'll be nothing left," said Lionel Reinisch, 35, a civil servant from the Paris suburb of Creteil.
Nationally, police said some 210,000 had taken part in protests, more than the 203,700 claimed by the CGT union.
Elisabeth David, head of the Unsa trade union that represents public sector workers, hailed the turnout: "This day is a success that has gone beyond our expectations."