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French commuters rail against ‘intolerable’ train strikes

About a quarter of international trains were affected.

Commuters at Saint-Lazare train station during strike action in Paris (Thibault Camus/AP)
Commuters at Saint-Lazare train station during strike action in Paris (Thibault Camus/AP)

Commuters in France have been hit by fresh train strikes as unions and management insist they will not back down in a long-running dispute.

Some 80% of French high-speed trains stood still on Monday as unions entered day four of three months of periodic rolling strikes.

About a quarter of international trains were affected.

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The heads of the SNCF national rail authority and leading union CGT stood firm on Monday.

Unions are angry at President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to revoke a special status for rail drivers that allows benefits such as jobs for life.

The government wants to make the rail sector more competitive.

Commuter Christelle Gedin, at Paris’s Saint-Lazare station, said: “It’s intolerable because we’re all working.”

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Empty platforms at rush hour during the strike action in Paris (Thibault Camus/AP)

People supporting the rail workers, meanwhile, are crowdfunding online to help those losing pay because of the strikes.

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