June 15, 2018 / 7:21 AM / 9 months ago

CGT union vows to extend French rail strike

FILE PHOTO: The detail of the cap pasted with a CGT union sticker is worn by a French state-owned SNCF railway employee as he demonstrates in Paris in front of the Senate in Paris, France, May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - The largest union at France’s SNCF train company has called for extended strike action in July to protest over a major rail reform law that was approved by parliament on Thursday.

“We’re going to continue in July,” CGT railway union chief Laurent Brun told public radio station franceinfo.

The head of another large but more moderate labor union, Laurent Berger of the CFDT, signaled in an interview with the same radio station that the time had come to end the strikes at the end of June.

The shakeup of the state-owned SNCF, a flagship reform for President Emmanuel Macron as well as the biggest reform of the railways since nationalization, is set to go onto the statute books, having been approved in both houses of parliament.

“What’s sure is there comes a time when you move on to other forms of discussion and mobilization,” he said. “Union action is not only done by striking.”

All unions backed industrial action that halved services for much of the past three months but their joint call for stoppages expires on June 28, whereafter the CGT’s Brun has broke ranks to say the stoppages will go on as far as his union is concerned.

Reporting by Brian Love; editing by Michel Rose

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