Paris transport workers stage protest as new boss Castex takes charge

AFP - LUDOVIC MARIN

On his first day as the new president of the Paris Transport Authority (RATP), former French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Monday promised salary negotiations for disgruntled employees demanding better pay and working conditions.

Several hundred demonstrators turned out at the RATP’s headquarters near Gare de Lyon at 9am to demand that Castex “come down in person” to meet with transport staff – a protest called by the hardline CGT union.

The RATP runs the Paris metro as well as commuter trains and buses in and around the French capital, employing some 70,000 people in the Paris region.

Bus, metro and RER train drivers and technicians are demanding a salary increase, while those in charge of train maintenance are unhappy about the loss of a 100-euro monthly ”site bonus”.

Soaring living costs

CGT-RATP union representative Faouzi Abou Rayan told CNEWS that a 2.8 percent wage increase over the summer was not enough to meet the demands of inflation and the high cost of living.

"It's starting to become critical," he said, adding that many workers were forced to live far from Paris, where housing is cheaper, incurring significant transportation costs themselves.


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