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Rail strike set to enter seventh day

SNCF workers vote in favour of continuing dispute over government's rail reform proposals

15 June 2014

SNCF workers have voted in favour of extending the nationwide rail strike into a seventh day, it has been announced.

The dispute, which has crippled France’s rail network since last Tuesday will now run into the first day the reform bill at the heart of the battle is due to be debated in Parliament.

Earlier today, SNCF had mobilised 10,000 workers to to ensure that the strike, the longest in France since 2010,did not stop the country’s 329,000 students taking their baccalaureate this week from sitting the first of their exams - philosophy.

Le Parisien has reported that very few students missed the scheduled start of their exam.

The situation, however, has prompted student union UNI-Lycée to demand that strikes should be banned during exam periods, as they are in Italy.

The Association of Railway Travellers has also voiced its frustration at the ongoing dispute and has demanded compensation for the millions of passengers affected.

SNCF has already announced a 20% reduction in the price of a monthly ticket for July, rising to 33% if the strike continues.

And, speaking on RMC this morning, SNCF president Guillaume Pepy estimated the cost of the strike so far as being between €80m and €100m.

Meanwhile, a train from Laon, in Aisne, to Paris arrived more than two hours late after, an SNCF spokesman said, its brake lines were “cut”.

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