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French rail workers strike as summer disruption continues

French railway workers have become the latest group of transport workers to walk out of pay this summer as travel services continue to be disrupted around Europe.

Several French rail unions are on a 24-hour strike on Wednesday (July 6th), affecting services across the SNCF’s network. Workers’ organizations have demanded a wage increase.

The latest strike forced the cancellation of nearly a quarter of TGV high-speed trains on Wednesday, while SNCF’s long-distance intersite and regional TER services were further disrupted by walkouts. International train operations, including Eurostar, were expected to operate as normal.

The industrial move in France comes just two weeks after the UK was hit by the biggest rail strike in more than 30 years over disputes over salaries and jobs, which affected the entire national network for a week.

So far, no more UK rail strikes have been declared by the RMT union. But the dispute with union general secretary Mick Lynch earlier this week was far from settled as they were involved in the “fight of our lives” to get the kind of deal they wanted from national rail and train operators.

Aviation is also facing its own setbacks, with nearly half of the airline’s schedules canceled as SAS pilots left earlier this week; Ryanair and easyJet are both facing industrial action in Spain.

British Airways could soon face further disruptions to its operations this summer when its ground staff voted to go on strike in another dispute over pay.

Meanwhile, fuel workers at London Heathrow Airport, employed by Aviation Fuel Services, which supplies fuel to more than 70 airlines, are to go on a 72-hour strike from July 21-24 to ensure a pay rise.

The latest strike comes as Europe’s transport sector is struggling to cope with a persistent shortage of workers after a strong rebound in travel demand this summer and a decline during the epidemic.

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