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France’s train traffic disrupted amid strike for higher pay

PARIS (AP) – A strike by railway workers demanding higher pay amid cost of living increases interrupted train services in France yesterday.

National railway company SNCF said about one high-speed train in four was cancelled, while regional services such as suburban trains in the Paris region experienced disruptions.

International lines, including Eurostar trains to London and Thalys trains to Brussels ran normally yesterday, SNCF said. The CGT, Unsa, SUD-Rail and CFDT unions called the one-day strike.

The CGT said in a statement that it wants “general wage increases at least equal to rising inflation” after 10 years of wage freezes.

“When you go to the supermarket, when you fill up your tank, when you have to pay your bills, that’s where it’s difficult,” train driver and SUD-Rail union spokesperson Fabien Villedieu told The Associated Press. “And when your wage is frozen, you worry about it every day.”

“The number one problem in France isn’t the strike at the SNCF, it’s the frozen wages and the loss in terms of purchasing power,” he added.

Passengers at the Part-Dieu train station during a railway strike. PHOTO: AP