- Title: New year brings no end to French rail strikes
- Date: 2nd January 2020
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (JANUARY 2, 2020) (REUTERS) EMPTY PLATFORMS AT MONTPARNASSE STATION SCREEN WITH ANNOUNCEMENT READING (French): "AN INTERPROFESSIONAL STRIKE MEANS THERE IS A SERIOUSLY REDUCED SERVICE ON THE SNCF. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU PUT OFF TRAVELLING TO A LATER DATE. ALTERNATIVES ARE PROPOSED BY THE SNCF ASSISTANT. DURING THE STRIKE, INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOLLOWING DAY'S TRAINS WILL BE POSTED ON APPS, THE SNCF ASSISTANT AND SNCF.COM AT 17H00." VARIOUS OF PASSENGERS MOVING TO BOARD TRAIN MEMBER OF SNCF STAFF TALKING TO PASSENGER PASSENGERS WALKING ACROSS CONCOURSE (SOUNDBITE) (French) 21-YEAR-OLD STUDENT, PIERRE HAUDIQET, RETURNING TO ANGERS IN WESTERN FRANCE FOR HIS STUDIES, SAYING: "I completely understand the strikers' demands, I just think it's a shame they are able to totally block an entire country like this. There are lots of people who need the SNCF, who count on its services, I absolutely have to get back for my studies and so on and I struggled to find a train. I think it's a shame they are able to block the whole country like this." (SOUNDBITE) (French) PASSENGER, ANNE-CLAIRE FIDO, TRAVELLING TO SAUMUR IN WESTERN FRANCE TO SEE FAMILY, SAYING: "I remember the strike in 1995! I think it's good, I think they (the strikers) are brave and we have to support them." (SOUNDBITE) (French) 65-YEAR-OLD NURSE, AGNES SALVAUDON, TRAVELLING FROM VANNES IN WESTERN FRANCE TO CARIBBEAN ISLAND MARTINIQUE, SAYING: "The strike is necessary so that (French President Emmanuel) Macron and his government make an effort so that things can be evened out and made more equal for everyone, because not everyone has the same chance in life." SALVAUDON WALKING AWAY WITH SUITCASE VARIOUS OF PASSENGERS WAITING FOR TRAINS PASSENGERS ON PLATFORM TRAIN LEAVING
- Embargoed: 16th January 2020 10:43
- Keywords: Macron pensions reform pensions strike rail strike strike
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Lawmaking,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BUHBEPZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Strikes by French transport workers against government reforms to the pensions system continued into the new year entering their 29th day on Thursday (January 2), beating a previous record for a strike over consecutive days at rail company the SNCF set in 1986.
Only one in three highspeed TGV services and four in ten local TER services were set to run, according to the SNCF.
With cancellations announced at least a day in advance, most passengers at Montparnasse station in the south of Paris -- which provides mainline services to west and southwest France -- were aware of the modified timetables.
Many, including nurse Agnes Salvaudon en route to visit family on the French Caribbean island of Martinique, said they supported the strikers.
"The strike is necessary so that (French President Emmanuel) Macron and his government make an effort so that things can be evened out and made more equal for everyone," she said.
Making a new year's address on Tuesday (December 31), Macron said he expected the government to reach a compromise quickly with unions, but without departing from principles laid out by ministers, and junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Thursday called on unions to make proposals to break the deadlock.
Protesters blocking a bus depot in north Paris on Thursday showed no signs of giving up the fight.
"Since the first day, December 5, we have been calling for this reform to be withdrawn completely and today we're respecting that same line," said protester Labidi Hani.
(Production: Clotaire Achi, Antony Paone, Johnny Cotton)
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