Rail unions step up strike action

Rail travel severely disrupted as SNCF staff heed unions' call for support

Unions had billed Monday, May 14, as "The Day With No Trains" - and striking SNCF staff apparently answered their call, as rail travel has been severely disrupted - though some services are still running.

According to the rail operator, two out of every three TGV and TER services have been cancelled, while in the Paris region only a third of Transilien trains were running, and the RER lines were also reduced to a similar level of service as staff walk out for the 18th time during their intermittent "two-in-five" strike in a dispute over planned SNCF reform.

Read more: Dates for planned rail strikes

Meanwhile, there have been reports of rail workers blocking train depots in Calais and Lille.

Support for the strike varies from region to region, with passengers advised to visit the SNCF website for further information but have also been warned to expect delay their journeys or urged to arrange alternative travel.

"We are going to go into the offices to convince workers to down tools," a union activist told Le Parisien. "We need to show the government that the movement is not running out of steam."

The latest walkout was taking place as unions launched a consultation with members on their views of the planned reform of SNCF

The percentage of rail workers taking part in the strike had fallen from 33.9% in early April to 14.5% percent in May.

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