Railworkers strike, traffic jams block Paris region
There were more than 230 kilometres of traffic jams in the Paris region Thursday morning as commuters tried to dodge the effects of a railworkers’s strike. On a national level three out of 10 TGV high-speed trains were cancelled, according to management.
Unions claimed that 30-35 per cent of railworkers were to join the strike, a “very high” level of participation, according to them.
According to a law, the Loi Diard, passed under Nicolas Sarkozy’s previous right-wing government, transport workers must declare their intention of going on strike 48 hours in advance.
The strike seemed on Thursday to be having only a limited effect, with management predicting:
- TGV: seven out of 10 trains running; Intercity: more than half of trains expected to run;
- International traffic: Normal apart from Paris-Geneva, where some disruption was expected;
- Night traffic: no national night trains were expected to run;
- Paris and Ile de France: Two lines, C and D, of the RER suburban train network were expected to be disrupted, with the lines C,D, J, L, N, P, R and U of the Transilien hit.
Updates available on:
- SMS 4 10 20;
- Freephone 0805 700 805.
Unions fear that a reform of the rail network will open it up to competition, a change in railworkers’s status and a “provocative” pay offer of 0.5 per cent.
The strike is due to end on Friday at 8.00 am.
Air France employees are set to strike on Friday as a holiday weekend starts and could be prolonged.
The company says that all flights should take place but some may be delayed.
Unions are opposing a restructuring plan, that will slash jobs in order to reduce the company’s massive losses.
They also accuse the Socialist government of breaking a promise to repeal the Loi Diard.