French rail workers strike causes severe disruptions
Paris - MENA
Train passengers in France face severe disruption to their journeys on Tuesday as rail workers carry out an all-day strike over pay and working conditions.
The latest walkout by employees of French state-owned rail company SNCF – the third in two months – began at 7pm Monday evening and will run until 8am Wednesday morning, though travellers expect to see the biggest delays Tuesday morning, France 24 reported.
Only half of high-speed TGV services will be running, SNCF said in a statement, along with just 40 percent of all regional TER trains.
Just one in three of SNCF's Intercités trains will run, while half of all trains on the Paris region's Transilien network will be cancelled.
RER rail services in the capital are also set to be significantly disrupted, with one train in two running on the RER line B, one in three on line C and D and two in three on line E. RER line A is set to run as normal.
International services are set to be largely unaffected though night trains will not be running, SNCF said. It advised passengers to avoid travel or seek alternatives for their journeys wherever possible.
The strike is expected to have a particularly severe impact because it is being backed by all four unions: the UNSA, CGT, SUD and CFDT.
The last time that happened, during a walkout on March 9, only around a third of train services ran.
The strike is the result of a long-running dispute between SNCF and the unions over workers' pay and working conditions.
And there could be more travel misery for French rail passengers to come, with unions warning that further industrial action is likely as they seek to up pressure on SNCF bosses during the ongoing negotiations.