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French commuters face second day of travel chaos

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French commuters face second day of travel chaos

French commuters face second day of travel chaos
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France was braced for a second day of travel chaos as railway workers continued with a series of rolling strikes.

Railway stations were deserted as passengers were advised to stay away if a train was cancelled.

Some passengers expressed frustration with the disruption.

One woman complained there was only one bus to replace around three trains, so it was first come, first served. And because there were no refunds, commuters were paying the same price for a severely reduced service.

The four main rail unions plan to strike for two days out of every five for the next three months and some passengers felt more could be done to help commuters get to work.

"I support all the movements that defend the quality of life of working people and of the jobless, but SNCF personnel puts other working people in a tight spot ," said one women. "Why don't they make train rides free. This is an excellent means of pressure on the government which still allows others to get to work."

The number of drivers on strike fell slightly on Wednesday, though more signalmen and conductors walked out than a day earlier. Those on strike say it's about more than protecting the SNCF.

"The battle we are fighting is also for passengers," said one of the strikers. "We are defending the public sector represented by SNCF. There are a lot of railway workers who don't want to be on strike. But the attacks by the government on the SNCF, on their rights, on opening up to competition, that's an attack on the public railway system."

Euronews correspondent Raphaele Tavernier said the number of railway workers on strike on Wednesday dropped slightly but their motivation hasn't changed. They are ready to go to the bitter end to force the government to give in to their demands. Notably this includes the promised series of strikes over the next three months with the next ones due to start on the 8th of April.