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Radio France Internationale
Radio France Internationale

French rail workers threaten more strikes, dismiss 'insufficient' inflation wage increase

A train at Paris' Gare de Lyon train station, where travel was disrupted on 6 July by a one-day strike by workers demanding wage increases in the face of inflation. © Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Unions representing French rail workers warned of more strikes this summer after denouncing wage increases offered by the rail company SNCF, following a one-day strike on Wednesday that disrupted travel at the start of the summer holiday season.

The state-owned railway operator agreed to a 3.7 percent increase in salaries for those at the start of their careers and 2.2 percent for managers.

The CGT Cheminots union said in a statement the proposals were "clearly indecent", given that inflation is expected to go over eight percent by the end of the year.

Unions have demanded that salaries be adjusted for inflation as well as a hike in the minimum wage and higher bonuses to compensate for the price increases.

Unions will consult members about whether they will stage more strikes.

Three of the four main unions at the SNCF, took part in the one-day walkout on Wednesday which cancelled nearly a third of intercity and regional train services.

Commuter trains in and out of Paris were also impacted as well as some TGV high-speed trains.

Workers across sectors in France are striking over frustration with increasing cost of living.

French inflation climbed to 6.5 percent in June, driven by a sharp rise in food and energy prices.

Ground staff at Paris’ Roissy-Charles de Gaulle are planning a strike on July 8-11 after a series of strikes to demand wage increases in the face of inflation.

Workers at Exxon Mobil's Esso refinery in Fos-sur-Mer in southern France, which processes about ten percent of France’s oil, went back to work Saturday after a strike temporarily shut down operations on Friday, with workers demanding higher wages to cover inflation.

(with wires)

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