Could new French rail strikes hit the long weekends in May?

The Local France
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Could new French rail strikes hit the long weekends in May?
A passenger walks with luggage on a train platform at the Gare Montparnasse train station (Photo by Ian LANGSDON / AFP)

A French union representing rail workers has called for walk-outs during May, which may lead to delays and cancellations for people hoping to take advantage of several bank holidays and long-weekends.


Workers in France are looking forward to four bank holidays the month of May: Wednesday, May 1st (Labour Day), Wednesday, May 8th (VE Day), Thursday, May 9th (Ascension), and Monday, May 20th (Pentecost). 

However, it is possible that there could be rail strikes on the horizon.

The Sud-Rail union, which represents about one in five workers (18.67 percent as of 2022) with the French national rail service, SNCF, has threatened industrial action during the month of May.

The union filed a strike notice specifically for rail conductors, who are responsible for checking tickets and maintaining 'the comfort and security' of travellers on trains.

The threatened strike action would cover the entire month of May, and has been announced ahead of pay negotiations with management on April 10th. The Easter holidays were spared.

The last time rail conductors walked out - in February during the winter school holidays - about one in every two trains was cancelled, but it is worth noting that time two unions had called for strike action (Sud-Rail and CGT) so there was more disruption.

None of the other unions representing rail workers had officially called for walk-outs during the month of May, as of mid-March.


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