Ceux qui font la grève (SNCF edition)

Workers on strike!  Again!

Striking is a way of life in France.  Most unions of any kind will call a couple of strikes per year, most lasting just one day, just to remind the general public what would happen if they ever get upset enough to call a “real,” long-lasting strike.  Most of the time, it’s an annoyance.  People grumble, but they go about their daily lives.  All this I’ve said before.

SNCF is the national organization that runs all non-local train and bus transportation, from the rapid TGV trains to the regional buses in Ardèche.  When they strike for a day, they usually target areas with large populations and popular lines.  Usually, though, they’re “nice” about it: they won’t cancel all trains, maybe half or 75% along each line they want to affect.  Their general rules are nice for me: buses in Ardèche are not affected.  It’s like they feel bad for us being so remote and not having any trains.

Here’s the problem: SNCF called a strike on Tuesday.  It’s still on.  Spring break for the Marseille region started last week, and it starts now for us.  (Of course they planned it like that.)  People want to travel.  I have plans to go to Germany tomorrow to visit a friend…all by bus/train.  Three legs of traveling.  The first one, a bus to Valence, won’t be affected: it’s a bus in Ardèche.  The third one, a train from Paris into Germany, won’t be affected, either: they’re not allowed to cut train service to other countries.  But getting from Valence to Paris might be…interesting.  If I’m really lucky, they’ll call off the strike.  If not, I’ll figure it out.  I may just get to Germany a day late.  Adventure is always an option.

So long as no one starts rioting, I’ll be fine.


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