A man stands on a platform during strike action at the Gare Saint Lazare train station in Paris, France, Monday, April 9, 2018. Unions are planning periodic two-day strikes through June to try to counter the French government's plans to abolish a benefits system that allows train drivers and other workers to have jobs for life. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Commuters struggle with new French strikes as unions dig in

April 09, 2018 - 4:35 am

PARIS (AP) — Commuters are railing at French train strikes as unions and management insist they won't back down.

Some 80 percent of French high-speed trains stood still Monday as unions entered Day 4 of three months of periodic rolling strikes. About a quarter of international trains were affected.

The heads of the SNCF national rail authority and of leading union CGT stood firm Monday.

Unions are angry at President Emmanuel Macron's plans to revoke a special status for rail drivers that allows benefits such as jobs for life. The government wants to make the rail sector more competitive.

Commuter Christelle Gedin said Monday at Paris' Saint-Lazare station, "It's intolerable because we're all working."

People supporting the rail workers, meanwhile, are crowdfunding online to help those losing pay because of the strikes.

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