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Tuesday, 22 May, 2001, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Transport strike cripples France
Strikers brought Marseilles to a halt
Strikers brought Marseilles to a halt
Transport workers striking for the right to retire at the age of 55 instead of 60 have disrupted commuter travel in most French cities.

A nun waits for a bus in Lyon
A nun waits for a bus in Lyon
Services were badly hit in Marseille, France's second largest city, where only 10 % of buses and trams were running, the local transport authority said.

The metro service was also reduced.

No buses circulated in the northern cities of Lille and Valenciennes.

Stress

Lyon, Nantes, Toulouse, and Nice were also affected.

The capital was untouched, as workers with the Paris regional transport authority already have the right to retire at 55.

Unions want the retirement age cut to take account of what they contend are the stresses of the job.

Employers refused to open new talks after negotiations broke down on 25 April.

They say that lowering the retirement age risks pushing up costs.

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See also:

05 Apr 01 | Europe
France crippled by rail strike
27 Mar 01 | Europe
Europe's rail safety questioned
25 Jan 01 | Europe
French strikes cause chaos
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