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France faces rail and air strikes next week


French rail and airline workers are to strike next week on the eve of the Toussaint holiday weekend. Air France workers are protesting at a restructuring plan while workers on the national rail network want a pay rise above the rate of inflation.


All unions on the SNCF rail network have called a strike from 24-26 October, threatening chaos as families part for the last big holiday weekend before Christmas.

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They consider a management offer of a 0.5 per cent rise in wages insufficient, given that the rate of inflation in 2.0 per cent.

The unions are also calling on President François Hollande’s Socialist government to break with the previous right-wing government’s rail policy and guarantee the network’s future.

One union, the powerful CGT, has called a strike at Air France on 26 October to oppose the Transform 2015 restructuring plan, which aims to save two billion euros in order to reduce Air France-KLM’s 6.24 billion-euro debt.

Bus and tram drivers in the Brittany town of Brest were on strike on Thursday against a "serious decline in working conditions" since the tram started operating in June.

They claim that the time allowed for journeys is unrealistic and that there are not enough vehicles and claim that conditions for passengers are often not good enough, leading to poor relations with customers.

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