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Paris transport strike disrupts subway, trains to suburbs

PARIS (AP) – Paris commuters faced disruptions as public transport workers went on strike on Friday to protest what they said was an insufficient salary increase proposal by the state-owned transport company RATP amid rising inflation.

Most subway lines in the Paris area and train services linking the capital with the suburbs were shut down during rush hours. Driverless trains that were in service had been packed with people rushing to reach work and children’s schools on time.

Friday’s one-day strike was the largest in the capital since the COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020. The strikers’ main demand is a substantial salary increase given rising inflation and soaring energy prices.

The government, which supports the RATP management’s offer, insists that transport workers will retain purchasing power with the proposed average of 2.7 per cent raise. Unions, however, claim that the offer in reality amounts to no more than a 0.4-per-cent increase.

Commuters getting into the subway hub at Gare Saint Lazare train station in Paris. PHOTO: AP