Travel chaos expected as strike hits France

9th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 8 (AFP) - Serious disruption is expected on railway and urban transport services across France Thursday as a result of a nationwide strike called by unions against the government's economic policies.

PARIS, March 8 (AFP) - Serious disruption is expected on railway and urban transport services across France Thursday as a result of a nationwide strike called by unions against the government's economic policies.

State-owned SNCF rail company said that only around half of TGV fast trains will be running, between a third and a half of regional trains, and only a quarter of commuter trains into Paris.

However Eurostar services to London should operate normally, it said.

The Paris metro operator RATP warned of serious disturbances varying from line to line, and invited passngers to ring a free phone number or consult the Internet for details.

Strike calls have been issued by unions representing bus and metro drivers in more than 50 cities.

Some cancellations could start Wednesday evening and continue into Friday morning, SNCF and RATP warned.

There was also a risk of disruption at Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports if staff heed union urgings to strike against the privatisation of the state-owned Aeroports de Paris.

All France's main unions have joined the call for a day of action to protest against falling disposable incomes and government plans to reform the 35 hour week.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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