Published on : Monday, April 25, 2016
The latest strike by the employees of the state-owned rail company SNCF –third in two months, will begin at 7pm Monday and run until 8am Wednesday, though passengers would actually be hit hard on Tuesday. Only half of high-speed TGV services will be operating, SNCF informed in a statement, along with just 40 per cent of all regional TER trains.
The strike is expected to have a particularly severe impact as it is being backed by all four workers’ unions: the UNSA, CGT, SUD and CFDT.
Just one in three of SNCF’s Intercités trains would ply while half of all trains on the Paris region’s Transilien network will be cancelled altogether.
Besides SNCF, even the capital’s RER rail services are likely to be significantly disrupted with one in two trains plying on the RER line B, one in three on line C and D and two in three on line E whie RER line A is set to operate as normal.
International services are likely to remain largely unaffected though trains at night will not be running, SNCF told the media. It advised passengers either to avoid travelling or seek some alternative wherever possible.
The last time a similar strike took place, (on March 9 this year), only around one-third of all train services functioned. The strike is the result of a long-running dispute between SNCF and the unions over workers’ pay and working conditions.
“Stronger action could be considered in the absence of real negotiations that take into account the proposals put forward by the unions,” Thierry Nier, spokesperson for the CGT union said.
Hence, there could be more travel misery for French rail passengers to come, with unions warning that further industrial action is likely to pile pressure on SNCF bosses during the negotiations that are underway.
Tags: French train