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Transport faces strike disruption

Road, rail, air, sea and river services to be hit as union calls France-wide strike in protest at privatisation moves

TRAINS, planes, trams, buses and ferries could be severely affected next Tuesday as the CGT union has called a strike to defend public services amid moves towards privatisation.

The union says that opening up some transport sectors to competition would “reduce safety levels” and lead to wide spread job losses – while the chase for “lowest-cost” services would lead to an inevitable reduction in services for travellers.

Reforms planned for the rail network were denounced as “weakening the SNCF, leading to line closures, ticket offices shut and the loss of ticket inspectors on TER services” while a proposal to open up long-distance coach transport was simply a way to compete with trains and close some stations.

The CGT said the employers’ battle to cut labour costs was an attack on transport workers and a way to dump expenditure onto the social welfare system.

It also attacked the abandonment of the écotaxe on freight transport saying it would have “heavy consequences for financing road infrastructures, already in danger because of state indifference”. It said it meant more roads would become toll roads.

The strike call comes ahead of the next environmental conference due at the end of November, where transport is due to be the main topic.

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