The rail strike in France worsened this week, but negotiations begin tomorrow and that may lead to the end of the rail problem. Unfortunately, many of the French civil service workers went on strike today and this group included air traffic controllers. Numerous flights have been cancelled in both of airports serving Paris.
Bad news continues for air travelers as the main pilots union in France has called from a strike from Saturday through Tuesday. For tourists, it continues to be a difficult time to travel in France. See this article in the Herald Tribune for all the messy details.
Well, it is not pleasant but fairly predictable that the transportation unions in France decided to extend their strike to Monday, November 19th and perhaps beyond. There is a negotiation session scheduled for Wednesday and some hope has been extended that the strike will end before then.
As it now stands, there is little rail traffiic, the Paris Metro has some closed lines and around half of the buses in the city are running. Officials hope to have half of the TGV lines running Monday, but you should call ahead to determine which lines and their schedule.
The strikes we described in our last blog are now rolling out. Rail services and energy production were severely disrupted in France today and it is possible that the panoply of strikes will continue through tomorrow and, perhaps, Friday.
Less than 25% of the country’s trains were running today, although more TGVs are operating than any other service (helping out the tourist a bit). For more information see this article from the BBC.
President Nicholas Sarkozy of France has been trying to invigorate the country’s economy by changing the country’s generous pension programs. His actions, however, have been met by adverse reactions, including strikes. More are coming this month in the rail and energy areas. If you are planning November travel in France see this article in Expatica for more information.