French truckers call for strike action over effects of Covid rules and Brexit

Unions representing French hauliers are calling for industrial action over a litany of problems that drivers are facing due to the effects of new Covid rules and Brexit.

French truckers call for strike action over effects of Covid rules and Brexit

The joint call from five of the largest unions representing hauliers lists a litany of problems facing their members, some the result of Covid rules – such as PCR tests for drivers crossing borders, the 6pm curfew and the closure of restaurants routiers which provide cheap food for drivers – and others the consequences of Brexit.

Widespread confusion over post-Brexit paperwork needed to take goods into the EU has left many drivers waiting for hours or even days in Channel ports until their cargo has the correct forms. In December many drivers were stuck in eight-hour tailbacks in northern France as British firms stockpiled ahead of Brexit.

Since December 23rd, any haulier crossing from the UK to France has needed a Covid test before leaving the country.

READ ALSO UK Travel ban – who can travel and what paperwork do they need?


The unions have called for an urgent meeting with French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari to address their concerns, saying: “If the government prefers to ignore the distress which affects all of the members of the hauliers branch at suffering successive and brutal degradation of their working conditions due to the health and economic situation that has been prevailing in our country for many months, that is not the case for our unions.”

The five unions – the UF Route FGTE-CFDT, GCT Transports, FO Transports, CFTC Transports and SG Transports – are calling on their members to prepare “actions that will be visible around the country” from February 1st.

The type of actions are not specified, but popular methods of protest for annoyed French lorry drivers include blockading ports and staging opérations escargots – or rolling roadblocks – along major routes.

Member comments

  1. Hello
    I don’t think there is a lot of enthusiasm from the driver’s themselves for a strike.
    Things are hard for companies, employees and all our families.
    I shall be surprised if there is little made of this strike call.
    The article fails to mention the national strike that has been called for the 04/02 though. No doubt the usual suspects will fake the day off.
    Thank you

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French train services cancelled on Wednesday after unions continue strike

Travelling by rail in France is set to remain disrupted on Wednesday, as two major unions decide to extend Tuesday's strike action again pension reforms.

French train services cancelled on Wednesday after unions continue strike

Two major unions representing rail workers announced plans on Tuesday evening to extend their strike action into Wednesday, forcing rail operators to cancel trains.

The unions CGT-Cheminots and SUD-Rail called for more walkouts in protest against the government’s planned pension reform. 

According to France’s national rail service, SNCF, the strike action will lead to a delays and cancellations, with an average of two in three high-speed TGV trains continuing to run according to normal operating schedules. High-speed train operations in the east of the country will operate almost normally.

READ MORE: French protest pension reform again as unions threaten to step up action

As for other regions, two in three TGV trains in the north will run; half of trains in the west will run, and three in five trains in the south east will run.

The budget train operator Ouigo will also be affected, with two out of every three trains running on Wednesday.

The strike will also limit TER regional services to one in every two trains running, according to Franceinfo.

The SNCF website on Tuesday recommended that those who can cancel or postpone trips on Wednesday do so. If you believe your travel plans might be impacted by strike action, you can find more information at the SNCF website here.

As for the Paris region, normal services are expected on the RER A and B on Wednesday. The RER E will run two trains out of three, and half of RER C trains will run. The RER D will only have two in five trains running, and connection between Châtelet-les-Halles and Paris Gare de Lyon will be suspended.

READ MORE: 5 minutes to understand . . . French pension reform

Transilien operations may be disrupted, with the P and U lines running three out of four trains on average. Lines H, J and L will run two trains out of three. Half of the line N trains will run. Line R will run one train out of every five.

Intercité nighttime operations will not run, and daytime ones will see half of trains operational. 

International traffic may be disrupted on Wednesday as well. The Eurostar is expected to operate normally, and Thalys will be slightly disrupted. However, Lyria will run three out of five trains. 

Rail workers will not be the only ones continuing to strike on Wednesday. Oil refinery workers had already announced their intention to continue their 72-hour industrial action into February 8th.

READ MORE: Reader question: Will fuel supplies in France be hit by pension strikes?

You can keep up to date regarding strike action in France here