The six-week public transport strike has so far cost the country more than €1billion, according to the Prime Minister’s Office at Matignon
SNCF has borne the brunt of the financial hit – with the strike over the government’s pension reforms costing it about €850million, Matignon estimated, as it criticised the ‘significant financial consequences’ of the ongoing strike. Meanwhile, the walkout has hit Paris’s public transport operator RATP to the tune of €200million.
Unions called for Thursday to be a day of mass protests, the 16th of the ongoing strike, with marches in towns and cities across the country in what is being regarded as a test of support for the ongoing strike, which – outside transport unions appears to be running out of steam.
Rail and public transport services continued to be hit on Thursday, though the number of strikers fell back to 4.7% of the total workforce on Wednesday. SNCF said 80% of its scheduled TGV services would operate, along with all its Ouigo services, 60% of Intercité services 80% of TER trains.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that talks were ‘deadlocked’ and that the strike, now in its 43rd day, had ‘gone on too long’.
Unions have called for further protests on January 22 and 23 ahead of a ‘massive day of strike action and inter-professional demonstrations’ on January 24, the day the Council of Ministers is due to examine the pensions reform bill.