Rail strike in France extended into sixth day

June 16, 2014 - 8:52:11 am

PARIS: A crippling French strike against a planned reform of the rail sector will roll into next week, union leaders said yesterday, with the industrial action now the longest to hit the railways since 2010.

With the travel plans of millions of visitors and French citizens already disrupted just as the tourist season hits its peak, industrial action is now due to drag into a sixth day today. Previous days have seen an average of one in two high-speed TGV trains stopped and regional transport degraded.

The strike has also affected international links, with high-speed trains to Italy and Spain hit. But Eurostar services that include links to London have been operating normally.

Visitors arriving at Paris’s international airports have also faced disruption getting into the city, with disruption on a network that across the Paris region carries three million commuters a day.

The railway workers’ branch of the CGT union leading the protest told AFP Sunday that “mobilisation remained strong”, despite reports that only around a fifth of workers are striking. The action comes as France’s lower house of parliament is due to examine proposed reforms aiming to tackle the rail sector’s soaring debt tomorrow. AFP