Topics: Labor Unions

French train workers protest rail reform

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Photo - A demonstrator holds a flare during a demontration march of French national railway SNCF in Paris, Thursday, June 19, 2014.  They are striking over plans to streamline and open the state-run network, considered among the world's best, to private competition. A week into a nationwide train strike that has tangled traffic and stranded tourists and has caused some of the worst disruption to the country's rail network in years.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A demonstrator holds a flare during a demontration march of French national railway SNCF in Paris, Thursday, June 19, 2014. They are striking over plans to streamline and open the state-run network, considered among the world's best, to private competition. A week into a nationwide train strike that has tangled traffic and stranded tourists and has caused some of the worst disruption to the country's rail network in years.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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PARIS (AP) — Hundreds of train workers have marched in Paris in anger, as support for their 9-day-old strike over a railways reform appears to be shrinking.

The workers are trying to thwart a bill under debate in parliament that would pave the way for opening up railways to competition in coming years, as part of a Europe-wide liberalization.

Workers fear it will mean loss of jobs and quality, and hundreds marched Thursday from the Montparnasse train station to the Invalides monument in Paris. They fired flares but no violence was reported.

The SNCF train operator said about 10 percent of workers were on strike Thursday, down from 27 percent at the outset of the strike last week. The strike has disrupted travel nationwide for commuters, tourists and others.

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