Rail, school, airport strikes in Paris May 21: how bad is disruption?

Regional trains are particularly hard hit

Significant delays on the RER train lines. There will also be a demonstration at Roissy airport
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Strikes affecting RER regional trains within Paris and its suburbs, two Paris airports and around 250 suburban schools are taking place today, May 21. 

Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly airports are affected - however, no significant delays are expected to flights.

The RER D and the Transilien line R are the hardest hit regional train lines with only one train out of five expected. The RER A (the most used line) and B lines are the least affected although there are reduced services on some portions of the lines. 

Airport demonstration planned

The Aéroports de Paris unions say they expect a large turnout of airport agents with the action taking place the same day as the general assembly of the state-owned airport operator Aéroports de Paris.

Staff will gather at the Roissy airport in terminal 2E for a demonstration.

The unions are asking for an immediate emergency hiring plan amid complaints that they are severely understaffed. 

They are also demanding equal bonuses for all agents working during the Olympics and the immediate opening of negotiations on pay scales and bonuses.

Read more: The French strikes that could threaten the Paris Olympics 2024

Rail strikes to affect services all day

Traffic along the suburban and RER train lines will be severely disrupted all day, along with the T4 and T11 tram lines and some Transilien trains in other regions such as line J in Normandy and lines R and N in Centre-Val-de-Loire. 

There is likely to be only one train every 15 to 30 minutes at rush hour this evening and they will not stop at every station. 

Here is what to expect: 

  • One train out of five on RER D and Transilien line R

  • No trains between 10:00 and 17:00 on RER E and then two trains out of five

  • One train every hour for Transilien line V

  • One train out of two on the Poissy branch of the RER A

  • One train out of two on the north side of the RER B and two out of three on the south side 

  • One train out of three on the rest of the Transilien lines 

Railway workers and unions are putting pressure on the SNCF ahead of negotiations over bonuses during the Olympic games. For now, they stand at €50 gross per day worked over the Olympic period, which the unions do not deem sufficient.

On Friday May 17, 90% of drivers declared their intention to strike today. 

What action is happening in schools?

School unions have called for an hour of strikes every day from May 21 to May 24 between 11:25 and 12:25, declaring “No canteen in hundreds of Paris schools during the week of 21 to 24 May.”

They are requesting a salary increase, more jobs and higher bonuses. 

The strikes will affect 250 of the 630 schools in the Paris area, and a total of around 60,000 pupils.