Union: France train strikes ‘to continue into July’

New strike action has been called for the month of July

Train union CGT Cheminots has announced that its strike will continue into the month of July, even as the Senate recently voted to adopt the controversial railway reforms.

Laurent Brun, national secretary of CGT Cheminots, confirmed that strike action would continue into next month, with collective negotiations to resume today (Friday June 15).

Strikes had already been confirmed until the end of June, with general workers union the CGT having filed notice of strikes among public sector workers locally and nationally until June 17 - meaning that civil servants could be on strike at short notice until then.

As well as those that have already taken place this month, official railway strikes by cheminot workers had been announced for June 17-18, June 22-23, and June 27-28.

Now, it has been confirmed that strikes will “continue into the month of July”, with no official end date yet confirmed.

Mr Brun said: “We will see, but there is no question of us stopping the [strike] timetable simply because the government wants to push through [the changes].”

Mr Brun explained: “This is a bad reform, so we will continue to contest it. We are talking about an ideological reform, which for us, threatens the entire railway system and the rights of the workers. The battle continues.”

Negotiations must “reach their logical conclusion”, he said, and must “protect workers as much as possible from the privatisation” of the railway network.

He said: “We are fighting for negotiations and the best-possible agreement.”

On June 5, the French Senate voted to approve the railway reforms by 240 votes in favour, to 85 votes against, despite intense debate.

Senator Éliane Assassi said the reforms would risk “prioritising financial profit over the right to movement [by passengers]”.

Yet, Senator Claude Mahuret said the vote was “good news”, and condemned the strike action as “the worst form of strike, designed to damage to a maximum level the life of our fellow citizens.”

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