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STRIKES

France strikes: Only two Paris Metro lines closed but disruption continues

Public transport in Paris took a slight turn for the better on Monday as mass transportation strikes passed the 26-day mark.

France strikes: Only two Paris Metro lines closed but disruption continues
Photo: AFP

For the first time since the strikes began on December 5th, only two Metro lines – lines 7bis and 13 – are completely closed, although most of the others are running a reduced service.

With talks between the government and the unions not set to restart until January 7th, and a war of words between the two parties over the weekend, the strikes over proposed changes to the French pension system look set to continue for some days yet.

Here's how services are looking on Monday, December 30th:

In Paris things are looking up slightly with more services running, although as a whole the transport network is still badly disrupted.

 

On the Metro only lines 1 and 14 – which are automated – are running as normal. But only lines 7bis and 13 remain closed completely, all others are offering a limited service.

Lines 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are offering a rush hour only service – running from 6.30am to 9.30am and 4.30pm to 7.30pm.

Lines 2 and 11 are running morning rush hour only, line 3bis is running afternoon only and lines 6 and 12 are running evening rush hour only.

On the tram network things are largely back to normal, with lines 3a, 7 and 8 running a 'quasi normal' service all day and the other lines running as normal.

The RER suburban train network remains disrupted with fewer trains than normal and running only at limited periods, while on the buses three quarters of the normal services are running.

On the railways things are again disrupted but not as badly as in the early days of the strike.

 

Overall half the normal high speed TGV services are running and half the budget Ouigo services.

The local network is worst affected with a quarter of suburban Transilien trains and Intercité routes and just four in 10 of the normal local TER services.

The disruption affects international services including the Eurostar, which has already published on its website a limited timetable running until January 3rd.

There are no reported flight disruptions and Eurotunnel's Le Shuttle service is running as normal.

 

 

STRIKES

French customs officers strike over job cuts

Customs officers across France will walk out on Thursday in protest at job cuts that unions say will “weaken the customs network”.

French customs officers strike over job cuts

The national strike on Thursday, March 10th is expected to lead to delays at ports, airports and on the Eurostar.

The strike, which will include a rally outside the National Assembly building in Paris, was called by the CFDT-Douane and has the support of other unions. 

A work-to-rule protest over pay and conditions by customs officers in 2019, under the shadow of Brexit, led to delays and disruption at airports, as well as ports including Calais and Dunkirk, and on Eurostar trains.

Unions are calling on the government to axe plans to switch responsibility for import duty collection to the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques by 2024, at the cost of 700 customs’ officer jobs – and, according to strikers, tens of billions of euros to State coffers.

“We are asking for the reforms to be stopped, mainly that of the transfer of taxation, which is disorganising the network with the elimination of nearly a thousand jobs,” CFDT-Douane’s secretary general David-Olivier Caron said.

The planned job cuts come after years of restructuring and streamlining that has seen thousands of positions disappear, the unions say, when customs fraud and smuggling is rising because of a lack of resources.

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