France hit by major rail strike

France hit by major rail strike
Passengers cross railroad tracks at rush hour at Gare de Lyon train station in Paris as union stage a mass strike. (AP Photo/Francois Mori

A major French railway strike has brought the country's famed high-speed trains to a halt, leaving passengers stranded and posing the biggest test so far for President Emmanuel Macron's economic strategy.

The SNCF national rail authority said about 12% of trains are running on Tuesday, in the first of a series of strikes set to last three months.

Passengers are packing platforms or hitching rides on traffic-clogged roads and sharing travel tips online.

Traffic is also disrupted on Eurostar lines to Britain and trains to Germany, though most trains are running as usual.

Rail workers are protesting against government plans to eliminate worker protections.

It is part of Mr Macron's broader plans to make France more globally competitive.

Strikes and protest actions on Tuesday are also hitting Air France flights, garbage collection and universities.

PA

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