Strikes Affect Transportation in France

Transportation workers, teachers, civil servants and energy employees throughout France went on strike this week, with local chapters of various unions unable to decide whether to prolong the strikes or not. The protests are reportedly over pension legislation, and Tuesday was the fourth day of protest against the legislation since the end of the summer break.

The New York Times, quoting national train operator S.N.C.F., reported that intercity trains to Paris were running at only one-third of normal frequency, while rural services were more seriously disrupted.

The service was normal on the Eurostar trains to London, the article continued, and trains to Belgium and Germany were running at two-thirds of normal schedules.

The RER commuter trains into Paris were running at under 50 percent, while there were also disruptions on the Paris subway and bus system.

Airports were predicting significant disruption to flights as air traffic controllers and Air France staff joined the walkout. At Roissy Charles de Gaulle and Beauvais airports, 30 percent of flights were expected to be canceled, and about 50 percent at Orly. Long-haul flights were expected to be maintained, however.

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