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Railway workers take strike action in France

Railway workers take strike action in France

Railways workers in France have walked out on strike in a dispute over labour reforms in the country.

Unions are concerned over proposed plans to make it easier to hire and fire employees.

The strikes are expected to cause disruption across the French rail network today.

Rail workers in neighbouring Belgium are also expected to strike later today following budget cuts and changes to retirement ages and working hours.

At the same time metro staff in Paris are due to begin indefinite action on Thursday and Air France pilots have voted to strike over pay in the near future.

The CGT union is leading the action in France and is supported by other unions including Force Ouvriere and Unef.

However, the more moderate CFDT union backs the labour reforms.

The new labour law is designed to ease conditions for laying off workers, which is strongly regulated in France.

It is hoped companies will therefore take on more staff if they know they can shed jobs in case of a downturn.