French unions pledge no more rail strikes this summer

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French unions pledge no more rail strikes this summer
Photo by Philippe LOPEZ / AFP

While airlines are still facing repeated strike days, French trains will be a strike-free zone this summer, unions have assured passengers.


Unions representing working on the French SNCF train network are in dispute with management about pay increases and staged a one-day strike on July 6th. But while the issue remains unresolved, unions announced on Tuesday that they will meet with rail bosses again on September 1st, and will not file any strike notices before then.

That means that people with tickets booked on French trains this summer can be reasonably well assured that there will be no strikes - although there is always the possibility of smaller, local industrial action over non pay related issues.


SNCF has granted a 3.1 percent wage increase to staff to help them deal with rising inflation, but some unions including Sud Rail and the CGT were not happy with that offer.

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Talks are continuing between unions and the company, with a proposal for a further 1.4 percent increase, plus a €400 bonus and €100 holiday allowance for staff. If negotiations break down, further strike action in September and October has not been ruled out.

This summer is expected to be an exceptionally busy one on French railways, with SNCF putting an extra 500,000 tickets on sale to cope with demand.

The return of tourism after two years hit by pandemic restrictions, coupled by chaos on airlines, mean that many people are opting to take the train over the summer.  

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