Train strike to disrupt travel in France this weekend

France's train operator SNCF has announced that several high-speed TGV trains in the west of the country will be cancelled this weekend, as rail workers strike.

A strike is set to disrupt train travel in western France from Friday, October 22nd.
A strike is set to disrupt train travel in western France from Friday, October 22nd. Photo: JACQUES DEMARTHON / AFP.

SNCF announced on Thursday that 1 in 10 of the TGV Atlantique trains would be cancelled on Friday October 22nd, while one in three trains would not be running on Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday, however, SNCF updated its traffic information to inform travallers that only one in five trains would in fact be cancelled on Saturday.

Services will be disrupted on Inoui and Ouigo TGV trains to and from Brittany, Pays de la Loire, Centre Val de Loire, Nouvelle Aquitaine, and Occitanie.

The CGT-Cheminots, SUD-Rail and CFDT-Cheminots trade unions instigated the strike action in protest over working conditions and pay.

Saturday marks the start of the Toussaint holidays in France, with all schoolchildren given two weeks off, so many people would have been set to head off on holiday this weekend.

“Every client who is affected will be contacted to inform them of the status of their train, and will be able to be reimbursed or exchange their ticket for another date at no extra fee. Travellers who are able to or who have not yet booked are invited to delay their journey until another date,” SNCF announced, according to Le Parisien.

The list of trains that are running should be available online and via the Assistant SNCF app by 5pm the day before at the latest.

There may also be modifications to regional TER train schedules in Brittany on Friday and Saturday – you can find out whether a train is running online.

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French Apple workers call strike on iPhone 15 debut

Workers at Apple stores in France are set to strike and disrupt the launch of the iPhone 15 in a battle over pay, trade unions told AFP on Wednesday.

French Apple workers call strike on iPhone 15 debut

The unions called for two days of action on social media beginning on Friday, when the new handset is due to launch, saying Apple management had ignored their “perfectly legitimate” demands.

Apple has faced a rough time in France lately, with the government blocking sales of the iPhone 12 last Tuesday after it returned illegally high readings for radiation emissions.

The global launch of the iPhone 15 was also overshadowed by the firm’s capitulation to European Union demands for smartphones to be kitted out with universal charging ports rather than Apple’s proprietary “lightning” ports.

Apple workers in France have been campaigning for a seven percent pay rise but management have offered 4.5 percent — which the unions say is too low given vast increases in the cost of living.

“The launch of a new iPhone would normally be a cause for celebration but this time we’re not in the mood,” Albin Voulfow, the CFDT union delegate for Apple Retail France, told AFP.

Organisers said most of Apple’s 20 stores across the country would be affected, with staff walkouts expected at some branches and demonstrations planned at others.

“The aim is not to blockade the stores but to make management and the public aware of the problem,” said Voulfow.

The company has not yet responded to an AFP request for comment.