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France - Britain

British Eurostar staff begin four-day strike

Eurostar trains wait at St Pancras international station in London. Eurostar staff in Britain started a four-day strike on Friday.
Eurostar trains wait at St Pancras international station in London. Eurostar staff in Britain started a four-day strike on Friday. Neil Hall/Reuters

The British staff of the Eurostar rail service that connects Britain to mainland Europe started four days of strike on Friday with the company saying under four per cent of services are likely to be hit during this period.

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On Friday, only two trains between London and Brussels were being cancelled.

No services will be cancelled on Saturday and four between London and Paris will be cancelled on Sunday as well as two more between the British and French capitals on Monday, the company added.

Monday is a public holiday in France and Belgium and the strike comes during the busy summer holiday season across Europe.

Another strike is due to be held for three days over the weekend of August 27, which includes a public holiday in Britain.

“We have made some small changes to our timetable with all passengers due to travel on affected trains notified in advance to allow them to change their booking to another train on the same day,” Eurostar said in a statement.

Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers' Union general secretary Mick Cash said talks were due to be held on Friday morning.

“Our Eurostar train manager members are solid, determined and united this morning as they kick off the first phase of strike action in a fight for a decent work/life balance,” he said.

“Pickets are out at St Pancras International (Eurostar's London terminus) as we send the message to the company that we expect them to honour basic agreements with the union that date back eight years.”
- with AFP

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