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STRIKES

France’s summer 2022 strike timetable for roads, rail and air travel

The transport sector - particularly air travel - has been hit by strike action all over Europe this summer. Here's your guide to the declared strike days in France and the services that will be affected.

France's summer 2022 strike timetable for roads, rail and air travel
Paris Charles de Gaulle airport employees wave trade union flags as they stage a strike to demand higher wages at Roissy Charles De Gaulle Airport. Photo by Geoffroy Van der Hasselt / AFP

Why are the strikes taking place?

The majority of the strikes are over pay, with unions saying that the soaring cost of living should mean pay increases for staff. So far there has been no call for a general strike, and each dispute is a separate matter between company bosses and the relevant workers’ representatives.

We will update this story throughout the summer.

Airlines

The air travel sector is the worst hit so far, with several different strikes called.

Lufthansa – One of Lufthansa’s main unions called the German airline’s ground staff to strike on Wednesday July 27th as part of a wage dispute, heralding “delays and cancellations.” This will impact several airports across Europe. In France, flights with Lufthansa to and from Nice and Marseille could be affected.

Ryanair – Ryanair staff had filed a strike notice for ‘unlimited action’ over the summer, planning for a series of one or two-day strikes throughout the summer in conjunction with staff in other European countries. Pilots with Ryanair in France and Spain reached an agreement to return to pre-pandemic wages, after having taken salary cuts during the health crisis, and have therefore called off industrial action that was scheduled for July 23rd and 24th, and 25th through 28th, respectively.

Easyjet – French Easyjet pilots have written an open letter to the company CEO denouncing the chaos that has already seen the budget airline cancel dozens of flights because of staff shortages, but so far the pilots have not declared a formal strike. 

However Easyjet’s flight attendants have been called to strike from July 29th to 31st.

Airport – workers at Aéroports de Paris (which covers Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports but not Beauvais) have called off their strike after reaching a deal on pay with the airport operator.

Staff shortages – in addition to strike action, air travel around Europe has been hit hard by shortages of key staff, and many airports have seen long wait times to check in.

Railways

There’s some better news for train passengers.

SNCF strike – workers on the French rail operator SNCF held a one-day strike on Wednesday, July 6th, which affected high-speed TGV, the Intercité and local TER trains in all parts of France. Although the dispute remains unresolved, unions say their next meeting with rail bosses will be on September 1st and there will be no more strike notices before that date.

That doesn’t rule out local on disputes on issues not related to pay, but does mean that there will be no widespread, nationwide strikes on the SNCF network over the summer.

Paris public transport – workers on the Paris public transport systems are also involved in a separate dispute about changes to changes to working conditions, this series of one-day actions has so far affected mostly the suburban Transilien trains and the RER network, but not the Metro. 

Roads

Truck drivers blockades – Drivers too are calling for wage increases in what is likely to be the first in a series of events – usually drivers protest by either blockading certain addresses such as business depots or staging opérations escargot – rolling roadblocks on major routes.

Service station strike – employees of French energy giant Total Energies are also in dispute over wages and staged a one-day strike in June. Employees of service stations run by Total Energies walked out, while others blockaded Total’s refineries so that deliveries of fuel could not get out. So far, there has been no notice filed of a second strike day. 

Others

So far, most of the industrial action has centred on transport, which is one of the sectors that has the most impact on the daily life of both French residents and visitors. However there are other sectors that are involved in disputes over pay and conditions, notably healthcare. Staff at several hospitals have already staged industrial action – although for healthcare workers a grève involves staging protests outside the hospital, rather than walking out.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Red travel alert on France’s roads as summer holidays draw to a close

Another busy weekend on France’s roads is in store, as the summer holidays begin to draw to a close.

Red travel alert on France’s roads as summer holidays draw to a close

The country’s roads watchdog Bison Futé predicts very difficult travel conditions on major routes across the whole of the country, as holidaymakers head home on the penultimate weekend of les grandes vacances.

On Friday, the traffic monitor advises forecasts no particular problems for anyone travelling to holiday destinations, but advises road users heading home from popular resorts to:

  • Avoid the A13 between Rouen and Paris, from 5pm to 7pm;
  • Avoid the A10 between Bordeaux and Poitiers, from 12pm to 2pm;
  • Avoid the A8 between Nice and Aix-en-Provence, from 2pm to 6pm;
  • Avoid the A71 between Clermont-Ferrand and Orléans, from 11am to 3pm;
  • Avoid the A61 between Narbonne and Toulouse, from 4pm to 7pm;
  • Avoid the Mont-Blanc tunnel in direction of France, from 1pm to 9pm.

Image: Bison Futé

Saturday travel, however, looks set to be more complicated, with Bison Fute predicting ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ conditions in both directions.

For outward journeys, it recommends that motorists should:

  • leave or cross the Île-de-France before 10am;
  • avoid the A13, between Paris and Rouen from 11am to 2pm;
  • avoid the A11, between Paris and Le Mans from 12pm to 6pm;
  • avoid the A10 freeway, between Orleans and Tours from 10am to 5pm, and between Bordeaux and Poitiers from 11am to 4pm;
  • avoid the A6 between Beaune and Lyon from 10am to 5pm;
  • avoid the A7 between Lyon and Orange from 8am to 6pm;
  • avoid the A20 between Limoges and Brive-la-Gaillarde from 11am to 5pm;
  • avoid the A71 between Orléans and Clermont-Ferrand from 10am to 4pm;
  • avoid the A62 between Bordeaux and Toulouse from 11am to 5pm;
  • avoid the A61 between Toulouse and Narbonne from 10am to 3pm.

For return journeys on Saturday, road users are advised to:

  • return to or cross the Île-de-France before 2pm;
  • avoid the A11 between Le Mans and Paris from 11am to 2pm;
  • avoid the A10 between Bordeaux and Poitiers from 10am to 3pm;
  • avoid the A6 between Lyon and Beaune from 1pm to 5pm;
  • avoid the A7 between Orange and Salon-de-Provence from 9am to 2pm;
  • avoid the A8 between Nice and Aix-en-Provence from 10am to 1pm;
  • avoid the A9 between Spain and Orange from 10am to 2pm;
  • avoid the A71 between Clermont-Ferrand and Bourges from 3pm to 6pm, and between Bourges and Orléans from 9am to 12pm;
  • avoid the A61 between Narbonne and Toulouse from 10am to 3pm;
  • avoid the A75 between Montpellier and Clermont-Ferrand from 12h to 14h;
  • avoid the Mont-Blanc tunnel in direction of France, from 4pm to 9pm.

Image: Bison Futé

Traffic levels ease a little on Sunday for those heading towards popular French tourist resorts, but are still considered ‘very difficult’ for those heading back home

The following advice is in place for outward journeys in France on Sunday

  • avoid the A7 between Lyon and Orange from 3pm to 9pm;
  • avoid the A9 between Montpellier and Narbonne from 3pm to 5pm;
  • avoid the A62 between Bordeaux and Toulouse from 4pm to 9pm;
  • avoid the A61 between Toulouse and Narbonne from 3pm to 5pm.

For return journeys, the advice is:

  • return to or cross the Ile-de-France before 12pm,
  • avoid the A11 between Le Mans and Paris from 3pm to 9pm,
  • avoid the A10 at the Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines tollgate from 4pm to 8pm, and between Bordeaux and Poitiers, from 11am to 5pm,
  • avoid the A6 between Lyon and Beaune from 11am to 9pm,
  • avoid the A7 between Lyon and Salon-de-Provence from 10am to 6pm,
  • avoid the A8 between Nice and Aix-en-Provence from 10am to 9pm,
  • avoid the A71 between Clermont-Ferrand and Bourges from 10am to 12pm,
  • avoid the Mont-Blanc tunnel in the direction of France from 2pm to 7pm.

Image: Bison Futé
 
The government will be back in Paris next week for the first Ministers meeting on August 24th, while schools start the new academic year the following week on Thursday, September 1st. 
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