PARIS: An unexpected protest by French workers at Eurotunnel, the undersea link between the UK and continental Europe, disrupted cross-Channel train traffic on Thursday, threatening the Christmas holiday plans of many visitors.
The strike over bonus pay caused huge disruptions on the busy Paris-London route. Several trains had to return to Paris just before reaching London, prompting the French authority to call the industrial action unacceptable, Reuters reported. Thousands of visitors were stranded at the Gare du Nord high-speed rail terminal in Paris.
Getlink, a worker at the cross-Channel tunnel used by train firm Eurostar, stated the protest called by French unions had resulted in an interrupted service and the closure of terminals in Britain and France.
Unexpected Eurotunnel Protest Disrupts Train Traffic Under Channel: Report
The firm said trade unions had rejected a bonus payment of 1,000 euros announced by the company management, demanding that the amount should be increased.
In a statement, unions said they had demanded a better share of the profit following good traffic figures in the current year. The firm’s revenue was around 36 percent to 1.4 billion euros in the first 9 months of the year, compared to the same period in previous year.
However, French Transport Minister Clement Beaune stated the protest was unacceptable, adding a solution should be found as soon as possible.
In a statement, train operator Eurostar stated that they would suggest postponing visitors journey if they could. The tunnel protest was also blocking freight and the LeShuttle vehicle service. Over 1.1 million trucks and 2 million passenger vehicles have crossed the Channel aboard the service so far in the current year. –Video By AFP