French connections

Why the massive rail strike? France's love-hate relationship with the SNCF

France's state rail service has long been considered a national treasure. Though it has had a lot to celebrate in its 80-year history, the SNCF is also facing a massive debt burden and the government says reform is urgent. The main sticking point is a special status rail workers have. To defend their advantages, the so-called "cheminots" are staging an unprecedented strike. They have the support of many French people, despite the travel chaos.