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Paris bus drivers to strike again at the end of May

Public transport unions in Paris have called for strikes on buses and trams throughout the region at the end of May.

Paris bus drivers to strike again at the end of May
Commuters take an RATP bus during a transport strike in Paris (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Bus drivers are set to strike at the end of May over proposed plans to open up RATP bus services to subsidiary companies, with changes to working conditions.

As of January 1st, 2025, all bus drivers will be transferred to the subsidiaries or competing companies who won bids issued by the regional transport authority, Île-de-France Mobilités.

RATP plans to put the new working conditions into effect – those that would have been set to apply in 2025 – as early as July. These changes would impact at least 18,000 drivers. 

Specifically, drivers will fall under the “territorial social framework” (CST), the minimum legal framework for working hours, which will require 35 hours of work per week (and 37 hours per week for select drivers). Currently, the RATP’s rules regarding working hours are more advantageous, with the average driver working 33 hours a week (excluding overtime and travel time). 

Union management has been fighting against these proposed changes for over a year, having already held a strike March 25th, which impacted over 30 percent of bus lines in the Paris region.

Now, they calling for mobilisation to “defend their working conditions” again.

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STRIKES

BREAKING: French rail unions call national train strike

French rail unions have called for a national day of strike action to demand wage increases.

BREAKING: French rail unions call national train strike

The national rail strike is planned for Wednesday, July 6th, the day before French schools break up for the summer.

Three of the biggest rail unions – CFDT, Sud-Rail and CGT – have joined the strike call while a fourth, Unsa, is set to announce whether it will join next week.

They are demanding wage increases to help their members cope with the cost of living crisis, saying: “Railway workers are being hit hard, and are suffering a clear and sharp decline in their purchasing power.

They are asking for “measures to catch up with inflation in wages”, but also “a general increase in wages and the revaluation of all allowances, bonuses and indemnities”.

The strike notice issued is for a one-day action.

French workers in essential industries including rail are required to give bosses 48 hours notice of whether they intend to strike – this will allow rail operator SNCF to draw up strike timetables with limited services running. These will be published on Tuesday evening before the strike on Wednesday.

French schools break up for the summer on Thursday, July 7th and the following weekend is usually one of the busiest weekends on the railways as families depart for summer holidays. 

The strike covers employees on SNCF, and will not affect city public transport services such as the Paris Metro, although some of Paris’ regional RER and Transilien services are run by SNCF. 

Air travel in France has already been hit by strike action as airport employees and flight attendants have filed strike notices as they too demand wage increases to cope with the increased cost of living.

READ ALSO How strikes and staff shortages will affect France this summer 

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