French rail workers begin major strike action over Macron's reform efforts

Local media reported widespread disruption across the country this morning

French rail workers begin major strike action over Macron's reform efforts

Passengers and commuters wait at rush hour at Gare de Lyon train station in Paris. Picture by: Francois Mori/AP/Press Association Images

Rail employees are have begun major strike action across France - causing widespread disruption in the country.

It comes amid separate action by staff at Air France, rubbish collectors and some energy workers.

The escalating industrial action comes as President Emmanuel Macron works to introduce sweeping reforms to the country's labour laws - moves which have faced mounting opposition from trade unions. reports that rail workers will stage stoppages on two days out of five until June 28th unless reform plans are dropped.

Local media reported severe disruption across the country - including to high-speed TGV trains and Paris commuter services.

Train services between Switzerland, Italy and Spain are not expected to operate at all today as a result of the action.

Despite the walkouts, three-quarters of Eurostar trains to London will run.

According to Reuters, the rail dispute centres around efforts to reform the state-run SNCF rail company.

Workers currently enjoy generous contract and benefits, but the French government is looking to reform contracts for new workers.

It comes as part of efforts to modernise the loss-making company ahead of an EU requirement to open state railways to competition.