The French transport network is expected to return to something approaching normality this weekend after nine days of strike action – but the respite for commuters could prove to be short-lived. A new strike has been called for December, should negotiations between unions and management over pension reform end in deadlock.
Railway and underground workers voted for the conditional return to work to allow time for the negotiations to take place. But CGT representative Bruno Turtoy warned that if the government reneged on its promises, the railway workers would return to conflict.
The government has indicated it would be willing to taking into account bonuses when calculating pension levels, if railway workers accept pushing back their retirement date by two and a half years.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy is also expected to announce tax concessions designed to boost the disposable income for all those in work – opinion polls show low spending power to be one of the major causes of political unrest in France.