• Tweeter
  • republish

An empty platform at the Gare du Nord in Paris on December 14, 2019, as France faces its tenth consecutive day of strike. REUTERS / Eric Gaillard

In France, the strike against the pension reform continues at the SNCF. Concerns are now crystallizing around the Christmas holidays. Ten days before December 24, the growing movement risks penalizing travelers who wish to visit their families.

Last year, 3 million travelers took the main lines for the Christmas holidays and 8 million traveled by train during the 15 days of the school holidays at the end of the year.

Just ten days before Christmas, the prospect of a return to normal traffic is illusory. If the strike continues in the next few days, SNCF will not be able to provide full service, especially since it takes several days after the end of a strike to return to smooth traffic.

Faced with this context of crisis, the boss of the SNCF calls on the railroaders to be responsible and asks them to make a truce for Christmas. Nothing is less certain. Unions return the ball to the government camp. The CGT-railwaymen considers that the government has all the next week to take the decision to withdraw its pension reform by points , and rejects any idea of ​​truce.

Read also: Pension reform: government demining operation

Following threats from the unions, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe asked SNCF on Friday evening to prepare a "transport plan" specifying which trains would be maintained at the end of the year holidays.

For its part, the SNCF has announced that half of travelers will have trains to spend the family holidays.

How can we take the train to go celebrate Christmas ?

The prospect of seeing train traffic return to normal for the Christmas holidays is therefore getting more and more distant. The railway unions remain determined in their refusal of the pension reform and call not to give up.

The call of the new president of the SNCF, Jean-Pierre Farandou, does not seem to reassure Parisian users . They want to go to the regions and they are looking for alternatives in the event of the cancellation of their train.

Caroline sells jewelry in a Christmas market. It applies to tidy up its stand. But she is worried. She is afraid of not having a train to go to Rennes next Saturday…

SNCF users are in the dark

Francois Willmann

12/14/2019 - by RFI Play

■ The strike takes hold, the Parisians pedal

Ten days before the start of the transport strike, regular users of metros and RERs turn to bikes. Buy or repair, sellers are overwhelmed.

Lucie hurries to put bicycle brakes on the shelves […] According to her, 80% of customers currently use their bikes because of strikes. "I was recruited two weeks ago and it was very timely. I also think that the recruitment was probably a little advanced because of the strikes ..."

Report in bicycle shops

Marion bellal

12/14/2019 - by RFI Play