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Paris Metro returns to near-normal service as union ends pension strike after 46 days

After more than six weeks of disruption, public transport services in Paris returned almost to normal on Monday after the biggest of the city's transport unions called off the strike action.

Paris Metro returns to near-normal service as union ends pension strike after 46 days
Photo: AFP

The Unsa union, which has the largest membership among employees of the RATP Paris transport network, announced over the weekend that it would be suspending its strike from Monday – 46 days after it first began unlimited action against plans to reform the French pension system.

Although some other unions, including the hardline CGT, are continuing the strike, the return of the Unsa members was enough for RATP to offer a near- normal service on Monday, to the relief of weary Parisian commuters.

On the Metro only one line – line 13 – was not offering all-day services. This line is running from 5.30am to 11.30am and 2pm to 11.30pm.

All the other lines are running all day but some – lines 3, 4, 5 and 12 – have fewer services than normal.

Lines 1, 2, 3bis, 7bis, 9, 10, 11 and 14 are running as normal while lines 6, 7 and 8 are 'quasi normal'.

On the trams and buses all services are normal and RER line B – which connects Paris to its two airports – is running all day but with fewer services than normal.

On the railways too things are running fairly close to normal, with all services running on the high-speed TGV and the budget Ouigo services. 

 

On the local TER trains service is described as 'quasi normal'.

There is still disruption on some routes, however, with eight out of 10 of the normal services running on Intercité routes and on the suburban Transilien trains which serve the wider Paris region.

Talks are continuing between the French government and unions in an attempt to put a complete halt to the strikes which were called on December 5th and for several weeks paralysed transport services across France, disrupting thousands of Christmas breaks.

Throughout the week there will continue to be localised strikes and protests over the government's plans to do away with the 42 different 'pension regimes' that France currently has and replace them with a single universal pension.

 

 

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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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