Tourists and commuters forced to change plans as French rail strike enters second day

Tourists and commuters forced to change plans as French rail strike enters second day
Empty platforms are pictured at Gare de Lyon train station in Paris, France

French commuters are squeezing into scarce trains and tourists are rearranging their plans, as the second day of a three-month strike hits one of the world's most-travelled rail networks.

Rail unions and President Emmanuel Macron's government are holding firm so far in a battle over a plan to abolish a benefits system that allows train drivers and others jobs for life.

The SNCF rail authority said some 86% of trains were cancelled nationwide today.

The strike is also hitting international traffic. SNCF said no trains are operating between France and Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

At the Gare Saint-Lazare in northern Paris, passengers squeezed painfully in and out of trains or waited on overflowing platforms.

Mr Macron said the train worker overhaul is necessary to make France more globally competitive.

- AP

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