Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay Yukos shareholders over $50bn in damages

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

Europe

French rail strike could disrupt end-of-school exams

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-14

A French railway strike entered its fourth day on Saturday as the government said it feared one of the longest stoppages in years could drag into next week, disrupting end-of-school exams for thousands of students.

Rail passengers have seen services cut or cancelled since the strike began late on Tuesday over government plans to bring the SNCF rail operator and the RFF network under the roof of one holding company, while keeping their operations separate.

Unions fear the reform will hurt working conditions and want the two companies fully merged into a single company as they were before 1997. They also want the government to take on some 40 billion euros ($54.5 billion) in debt owed by the two firms.

The government says the reform is needed to create a coherent structure in France and other European countries gear up for full liberalisation of the railways in coming years.

President François Hollande called for an end to the strike on Friday, urging the unions to go back to work.

“This does not mean the dialogue cannot continue but the time has come and this industrial action must come to an end” he said.

Rail service disruption could complicate things for students on Monday when the baccalauréat end-of school exams start. The government’s education department was working on ways to accommodate late arrivals for the high-pressure exams, which mark the exit from secondary school.

While prolonged industrial action would increase pressure on Hollande’s Socialist government, it showed little sign of ceding to union demands as legislation on the disputed reform heads to parliament for debate next week.

“In France it’s parliament that makes legislation,” Transport Minister Frédéric Cuvillier told France Info state radio.

The SNCF rail operator said Eurostar links with Britain and Thalys links with Belgium and other countries further north were expected to run normally, but other international lines with countries such as Italy and Spain were still reduced, along with internal high-speed TV train services, by as much as 50 percent on Friday.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-06-14

  • FRANCE - STRIKE

    Rail strike ‘must end’, Hollande says

    Read more

  • FRANCE IN FOCUS

    French rail workers strike over proposed reforms

    Read more

  • FRANCE - TRANSPORT

    Travel chaos as France hit by dual rail and taxi strike

    Read more

COMMENT(S)