PARIS RAIL STRIKE

Paris region rail strike called as school leaving exams get underway

A railworker wears a badge reading "On strike".
A railworker wears a badge reading "On strike". Reuters/Stéphane Mahe

Train services are expected to be disrupted in the region surrounding the French capital and in Paris itself on Monday, as unions representing rail workers called for work stoppages to protest against various proposed reforms – notably the opening of French rail services to competition from other European operators.

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On Sunday, the French national rail company SNCF warned commuters to expect disruptions to services today in the wake of a strike call by several trade unions.

A number of suburban lines of the long-distance RER system will be affected, the company announced, particularly warning students who face the opening oral tests for the baccalauréat final school examination on Monday. 

Replacement buses will be used to limit disruption in the event of the cancellation of trains.

The rail company has promised that employees will be on hand in all stations to advise travellers, especially those heading to exams.

No exam penalties for late arrivals

The SNCF has promised to update the examination authorities on eventual delays and disruptions, so that late-arriving candidates will not be penalised.

All those who can defer travel have been asked to do so. 

Suburban and RER train drivers have been asked to strike by four major unions, to show the government that they are fed up.

Striker demands vary from one branch to another, but the general call is for action against the proposed reorganisation of France's rail transport with a view to facing competition from other European operators which will soon have the right to compete for French passenger and freight services.

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