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STRIKES

Strike to ‘strongly disturb’ Parisian bus and tram services on Monday

Strikes over working conditions means that bus and tram lines in the French capital will be running at 60 percent capacity on Monday, with further disruption expected later in the week.

Strikes will see tram and bus lines operating at a significantly reduced capacity in Paris on Monday.
Strikes will see tram and bus lines operating at a significantly reduced capacity in Paris on Monday. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

A fresh wave of strikes at the RATP – the company responsible for operating public transport in Paris – will result in widespread disruption on Monday. 

While Metro and RER services will run as normal, bus and tram services will operate at a significantly reduced capacity. 

In a notice to passengers published on Sunday evening, the RATP said that some bus lines would be closed completely. Only two out of three buses will run on the lines that remain open during the daytime. The night bus service will run as normal. 

On average, three out of five trams will run on Monday. 

Normal traffic is expected on tramlines T5, T6 and T7. 

On T1, only one out of two trams will run, with a ten minute interval between each shuttle. The line will only run between Gare de Noisy and Gare de Gennevilliers. Operation times are limited to 06:00-11:00 and 15h:00-20:00. 

On T2, only one out of two trams will run during rush hour. The line will connect Porte de Versailles and Puteaux with shuttles running every ten minutes during rush hour and every 20 minutes outside of this. Between Pont de Bezons and Charlebourg, shuttles will run every five minutes during rush hour and every fifteen minutes outside of this. 

T3a will operate one out of every two trams, exclusively between Pont du Garigliano and Porte d’Italie. The line will run from 06:30-11:00 and 16:30-21:00. 

T3b will operate half of all trams, exclusively between Porte de Vincennes and Porte de la Chapelle. Traffic will only run from 06:00-10:30 and 15:30-20:00. 

The T8 line is by far the most disrupted with only one in every four trams running. The line will only operate between Saint-Denis – Porte de Paris et Epinay–Orgemont. Trams will run between 06:00-10:00 and 16:00-20:00. 

Further strike action is expected on Wednesday, although RATP are yet to disclose the scale of that later disruption. 

What is behind the strikes? 

Bus and tram workers are striking over proposed plans to open up RATP services to subsidiary companies, with changes to working conditions.

As of January 1st, 2025, all bus 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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