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.