French train workers prepare strike November 21

4th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 4 (AFP) - Unions covering French train workers called Friday for a national strike November 21 to protest what they see as preparations to sell off the state rail company SNCF.

PARIS, Nov 4 (AFP) - Unions covering French train workers called Friday for a national strike November 21 to protest what they see as preparations to sell off the state rail company SNCF.

They issued a joint statement slamming recent restructuring at the SNCF and laws allowing private investment in the company, saying they presaged "runaway privatisation" of the loss-making operator.

The statement was signed by four of the biggest unions covering the SNCF's 180,000 employees. Four others have said they would consider their position before saying whether they would join the stoppage.

The protest comes amid a general privatisation push by the conservative French government, which is selling off part of the electricity utility EDF and some toll-road companies.

SNCF sales staff have already lodged warning of a strike next Wednesday to protest the axing of 2,300 ticket-window posts over the next two years. The rail company says the downsizing is necessary because of an explosion in sales over the Internet.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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