Heavily disrupted train service on “Black Tuesday”

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Due to a national SNCF strike, train service will be “very disrupted” from Tuesday, April 3, to the point that the French rail operator is recommending passengers postpone trips.

The strike, which is the first of 12 days during April, May and June, will continue well into Thursday, April 5.

Only one in ten TGVs to/from Nice will be operating, while TER and intercity service will be heavily impacted with delays and cancellations.

Guillaume Pepy, the head of SNCF, said that as few as one train in eight will operate during the stoppage. Three rail unions are involved in the strike, CGT, Unsa and the CFDT.

The action is against Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, who has said that he will pass a major reform of the SNCF by the summer, including ending the coveted status of “cheminot” – job-for-life contracts that came into place when the SNCF was nationalised In 1937 – for newly-recruited railway workers. According to a Harris opinion poll, Philippe has 69 percent of voters on his side.

Meanwhile Finance Minister Bruno Le Marie has said that state-owned rail service cannot go on losing €3 billion a year and paying €1 billion in interest on its debt, which topped €47 billion at the end of 2017.

April’s strike days include officially: 3,4, 9, 13, 18, 19 , 23 and 24.


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