If you are planning to travel in France this month, be aware that it is facing into nationwide strike action that is likely to disrupt your plans. Beginning at 10pm (9pm GMT) on 4 December, the strikes may extend throughout the month if union demands are not met.
The walkouts are expected to affect rail and air transport services, with many flights being delayed or cancelled. According to the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer (SNCF), nine out of 10 high-speed trains will be cancelled across the country as rail staff walkout, causing severe disruption. If you are travelling to and from France vis Eurostar, it would be advisable to check the company's website for updates as it has also announced cancellations.
There are also cancellations on Paris Metro lines, buses, trams and the Réseau Express Régional (RER). In addition, strike notices have been issued from public transport unions in most major cities, including Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse and Bordeaux. The strikes involve unions representing rail workers, city public transport employees, airline ground crews and air traffic controllers, as well as hauliers, teachers, and postal workers. Waste collection services will also be disrupted, and hospital workers and firefighters may also join the strike action.
The strikes are in response to the French Government’s proposed pension reforms, which they say are needed to revitalise the country’s economy. Workers, however, fear that they will have to do more work for less reward. Visitors are advised to check out alternatives for getting around, such as walking, cycling or hiring electric scooters.