Transport Strike Disrupts Christmas Celebration in France

Christmas Day celebration was disrupted for travellers in France as a transport strike entered its fourth week, ruining the plans of thousands to share quality time with loved ones. 

There was a last minute to make alternative arrangements as the protest against pension reform saw thousands of trains cancelled or delayed and taxis, ride-sharing services and car rental agencies unable to make up the shortfall.

Only a fraction of high-speed and inter-city trains ran on Christmas Eve, even fewer on the holiday itself. The main train stations in Paris were closed for the morning with suburban connections slashed and merely two out of 16 metro lines  the only driverless ones  providing any service.

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Negotiations between the government and unions last week failed to find common ground, and strikers vowed there would be no holiday truce unless officials scrap plans to merge the current 42 pension schemes into one.

The government says the overhaul is needed to create a fairer pension system.

But workers baulk at the inclusion of a so-called pivot age of 64 until which people would have to work to earn a full pension two years beyond the official retirement age.

Source: AFP

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