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Fans travelling to the Euros could be hit by French transport strikes

Workers in the country are holding strikes in protest against controversial reforms of labour laws.
May 17th 2016, 8:31 AM 14,467 20

STRIKES BEING TAKEN by French transport workers could impact on football fans travelling to attend the European Championships next month.

Street protests have been ongoing in the country over the past few weeks due to controversial labour market reforms.

Despite growing pressure – and with the major international event on the horizon – French President Francois Hollande has today reiterated that he won’t be backing down.

In the latest development, lorry drivers are expected to set up roadblocks around the country today, with workers on the Paris subway holding a work stoppage.

Will this impact on football fans? 

Unless the French government decides to change its stand, the strikes look set to be ongoing – which is bad news for travelling football fans.

More than 50,000 Irish fans are expected to make the journey to France when the tournament gets underway on 10 June.

As the labour laws impact different services, so do the strikes.

Already this month there have been work stoppages in Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, although these resulted in delays rather than cancellations according to France 24. 

It is also possible that there will be delays for fans travelling into the country by boat, with the possibility of lorry drivers blocking ports, according to French newspaper The Connexion.

From this week, railway workers in the country have also said they will be holding rolling 48-hour strikes every Wednesday and Thursday – although the opening up on the French rail service to competition is a factor in this.

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What are the labour reforms? 

At the moment, workers in France have some stringent labour laws working in their favour – something that this reform will corrode.

The change will do away with the much-lauded 35-hour working week, put a ceiling on unfair dismissals claims and make it easier for companies to get rid of staff for economic reasons.

Understandably this move hasn’t been welcomed by the country’s workers, and they’ve been showing it.

France Strike A protest in Marseille last month against the proposed labour law reforms Source: AP/Press Association Images

Protests and marches have been held around the country since the reforms were announced two months ago, with these frequently being marred by violence.

Last Tuesday President Francois Hollande stepped up the dispute, when he used special executive powers to push the reforms through French parliament without a vote.

Read: Britain leaving the EU could lead to a bonanza of skilled workers for Ireland

Also: Transdev planning to bid for bus routes set to be tendered this year

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Michael Sheils McNamee

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