Transport delays as rail and airport workers strike in several regions

Trains around Paris are particularly impacted and flights are being delayed by about 30 minutes at Charles de Gaulle

17 November 2021

Some train timetables have been adapted to mitigate the impact of the strike today (Wednesday, November 17) Pic: EQRoy / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

Strike action called by rail and airport worker unions is affecting train services and flights in France today (Wednesday, November 17). 

TER trains are impacted across the country, but to varying degrees according to the region in which they are based. The strike began yesterday evening and will last until 08:00 tomorrow morning.  

Long-distance services will not be affected, but some TER and Transilien timetables are being adapted in anticipation. 

In Ile-de-France, for example, the section of the RER B line which is run by SNCF – the other part being operated by RATP – will see one in five rush hour trains and one in four off-peak trains cancelled.

The RER A and C will be operating as normal, but one in four trains will not be running on the RER D and three in 10 on the RER E. 

Ligne N trains will be “heavily disrupted” while on Ligne R a rail replacement bus service will take passengers between Melun and Montereau.

Elsewhere in France, certain TER lines will be subject to train cancellations, while others will run as normal. 

You can check whether your train is running as planned by visiting the Assistant SNCF app or the TER website for your region. 

The rail strike has been called by the CGT-Cheminots and SUD-Rail unions, who are calling for pay rises and better working conditions for SNCF employees as yearly salary negotiations begin with SNCF. 

“Give us our money,” CGT-Cheminot stated as it called the staff to strike. “[SNCF] would impose a seventh year of pay freezes in 2021. However, the revenues generated by railway workers are increasing” and “similarly, the cost of living has not stopped rising in recent years.” 

Airport worker strikes 

Security staff at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Nice airports began striking yesterday (November 16) over possible reforms to their bonus payment system.

Read more: Airport staff strike causes delays at security in Paris and Nice

The strike has not yet had a serious impact on passenger waiting times within Charles de Gaulle, but Aéroports de Paris have said that the usual 10-15 minute queue at security has risen to up to 45 minutes, particularly in Terminal 2E. 

This had a knock-on effect on departures yesterday (November 16), with planes delayed by up to 30 minutes. 

At Orly, the effect of the strike was limited. Nice Airport advised passengers to arrive early at the airport to avoid being impacted by delays.

Staff in Marseille Airport also began a three-day strike yesterday, but this has not affected passengers so far. 

Toulouse Airport workers were also involved in the action, but the airport management refused to comment on the issue.

Airport worker unions claim that if employees take more than 2.5 days off each month – including sick days and training – they will no longer receive a bonus, which according to one worker equates to €1,800 per year. 

The nationwide strike is expected to continue until Thursday (November 18), according to BFMTV, although no definitive end date has yet been confirmed. 

Negotiations with the Syndicat des entreprises de sûreté aéroportuaire union are to begin on Friday. 

Related stories 

Marseille-Nice becomes first French TER line to leave SNCF control

‘La grève’: The origins of a word often associated with France

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