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Trouble on the tracks: French rail strike ahead


Four French rail unions, acting together for once, have called a 37-hour strike for next week over pay, staffing and working conditions. The four unions represent nearly all the workers of SNCF, the national rail operator.

The demands include increased staffing, better pay and improvement in working conditions. They come at a time when the rail system is facing changes in regional rail service. The unions say that SNCF's management is "catastrophic" and has resulted in service cancellations due to staff shortages.

The strike, called for 7 pm Tuesday through 8 am Thursday, is a rare show of unity for the unions, which often act alone, and don't always agree on rail reform or reorganization issues. The last time they struck together was in 2013. They've also called on the unions representing Paris bus and Metro workers to join the strike.

Photo: 2014 strike


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