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Reminder: What to expect from nationwide French strike tomorrow

Regional rail networks have begun to publish their updated timetables, with three in four Normandy TER trains cancelled

French unions have called for a nationwide, interprofessional strike tomorrow (September 29) Pic: Hadrian / Shutterstock

[Update September 28 at 16:45 - SNCF has stated that TGV traffic will be largely unaffected tomorrow, but that four in every 10 TER trains will be cancelled on average. Some regional variations are detailed within the article.]

Services across France will be affected by an interprofessional strike called by three national unions tomorrow (September 29).

The CGT union has stated that in this period of high inflation “going on holiday”, but also “filling one’s fridge” are becoming “more and more difficult for a large number of workers”. 

It is demanding an increase to the French minimum wage (Smic), bringing it to €15 gross, as opposed to €11.07 currently, unemployment benefits at minimum wage level, pensions of €2,000 per month gross, complete pay parity and a minimum salary for people with certain qualifications, among other things. 

The Solidaires union, for its part, has called for the Smic to be raised to €1,700, pay increases for traditionally ‘feminine’ professions, a more significant boost for pensions, civil servant salaries and benefits and a retirement age of 60.

Members of the FSU union have also been called to strike. 

As regional rail networks and the air travel authority share information on how passengers will be affected, we recap what to expect from the strike.

Read more: Four questions about Thursday’s ‘spending power’ strikes in France

Trains 

Train workers represented by CGT, Sud-Rail and CFDT have been called to strike tomorrow, and rail travel will be severely affected in certain regions of France. 

In Normandy, three in four trains will be cancelled and there will be no rail replacement buses put in place. 

“Because of the driver shortage currently being experienced in the road transport industry, no coach replacement will be possible,” SNCF has said. 

Passengers are advised to check for timetable updates on Assistant SNCF or on the Nomad Train website. 

In Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Nord and Pas-de-Calais, only 40% of TER trains will be running, La Voix du Nord reports.

In Moselle, 11 of the 17 trains which are normally scheduled to run between Metz and Luxembourg before 10:00 tomorrow morning have been cancelled, and this situation will be repeated in the evening. 

There will also only be one return trip between Metz and Strasbourg, in the form of a rail replacement bus.

Occitanie’s regional train network has said that traffic will be “disrupted across the region”. Customers are encouraged to check for train times online.

In Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the Marseille-Nice and the Marseille-Briançon lines will be disrupted.

In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the strike began yesterday evening (September 27). 

The region’s TER network has said that affected trains will be replaced by buses, and is advising people to postpone their journeys if possible.

Other public transports 

The CGT branch representing RATP, Ile-de-France’s public transport operator, has issued a strike notice beginning today (September 28) at 22:00 and ending on Friday (September 30) at 07:00.

Traffic should be normal on the Paris métro, as well as on the RER A, although on the RER B one in four trains will be cancelled.

Bus travel will also be affected, with one in every three not running across the network on average, although some lines will be more severely affected. 

Air travel 

The air traffic control strike which was due to begin today and end on Friday has been called off by the SNCTA union. 

Read more: French air traffic controllers call off next week’s three-day strike

However, the USACcgt union has issued a strike notice concerning some administrative and technical airport workers, lasting from tonight until early Friday morning. 

The Direction générale de l’aviation civile (DGAC) civil aviation authority has not deemed it necessary to cancel flights tomorrow, but there is a potential for delays.

Ports 

The CGT’s Fédération nationale des ports et docks has not called for a nationwide strike tomorrow, but there could be some localised action. 

At the Port de Marseille, for example, workers are expected to walk out between 09:00 and 13:00. 

Schools 

In nursery and primary schools, staff planning to go on strike have had to declare their intention 48 hours in advance, so parents should know if their child’s teacher will be there or not tomorrow. 

However, collège and lycée teachers are not required to do this. 

School caterers, after-school club teams and crèche assistants have also been invited to go on strike. You can find out if your child’s school, nursery or crèche is affected by contacting them or asking your mairie.

Other public services 

People in France may notice disruption at their local Centre des impôts or perhaps their Caisse d’allocations familiales (CAF) tomorrow, because these services are also affected by the call to strike.

Around 200 protests are expected to take place around France tomorrow. In Paris, a demonstration will begin at 14:00 in the Place Denfert-Rochereau, with the procession moving towards Bastille. 

Related articles 

London-Bordeaux trains, winter flights: Eight France travel updates

Fears of fuel shortages are growing in France due to refinery strikes

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