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French rail transport hit by 28th strike day

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A rail striker demonstrates last month JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD / AFP

France's TGV and intercity services were disrupted by strike action on Friday, the 28th day of a staggered strike of two-day action every five days. Unions said their action will continue and a group of authors published a book to raise money for the strike fund.


Eurostar and Thalys services to London and Brussels were expected to be "more or less normal", as were two out of three trains to Italy, Germany and Spain.

There was also disruption to Paris regional RER services, with half the scheduled trains to Charles de Gaulle airport and on some other lines cancelled.

Intercity services were also hit by the strike, which saw 14.28 percent of staff downing tools.

The committee of unions declared Thursday they would continue the strikes as planned, rejecting a proposal by one union to change it to allow students to sit the Bac exam.

About 100 rail workers, post office workers and students briefly occupied the Station F start-up hub in Paris on Thursday before being removed by police.

"This place is in a way the incarnation of [President] Emmanuel Macron's policies," school students union leader Louis Boyard told the AFP news agency. "Policies where only a minority succeeds, policies that mean casualisation, a society that only values people in suits, where there are no humans any more."

Also Thursday a book in support of the rail strike hit the bookshops.

Featuring contributions by about 30 writers, including Femina prize-winners Geneviève Brisac and Annie Ernaux, as well as illustrations, its proceeds will go to the strike fund, which has already been boosted by 1.2 million euros thanks to an online collection, launched by sociologist Gérard Salmon.