French Railway Workers Extend Strike Action
    2014-06-16 22:43:38     Xinhua       Web Editor: Fei

Trade unions on Monday announced an extension of strike action until Tuesday as disputed rail reform is presented to the French National Assembly.

Following an inconclusive meeting with government officials, France's main trade union CGT said "the mobilization remains important," and decided to prolong their strike by an additional 24 hours.

With their strike entering its sixth day, rail employees want to force the government to abandon the controversial rail reform aimed at merging state-owned railway company SNCF and rail network manager RFF to rein in the sector's high debt, currently at 40 billion euros (54.21 billion U.S. dollars).

In a statement, SNCF said: "The traffic remains stable on all lines. However, the situation remains disturbed, especially in Ile de France."

SNCF recommended passengers who can delay their trips to postpone their travels and to keep a close eye on traffic information.

With 14.08 percent of the country's railway workers stopping work on Monday, four RER trains out of 10 will run while 40 percent of trains linking French provinces will be operational. Half of the TGV high speed trains kept their schedule unchanged, authorities added.

"Nobody understands the meaning of this strike. We are available to make progress in talks but no one can doubt and raise a question on the government's determination to carry out reforms that are needed," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said after meeting social partners. (1 euro = 1.35 U.S. dollars)

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