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Thousands Protest French Rail Workers' Strike

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Thousands of Parisians frustrated by continuous traffic jams and horrible commuting problems marched through the French capital Sunday, demanding an end to a nationwide rail workers' strike now entering its sixth day Monday.

Many of the demonstrators said subway and commuter-train workers should return to work because they already enjoy privileges held by only a few other workers in France.

Rail unions told their members to stay off the job today, but agreed to hold talks with managers of the state-run rail company on Wednesday. The unions oppose President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to end rail workers' early-retirement privileges and to reduce their pensions.

Teachers, hospital workers and other French government employees are to stage a strike of their own on Tuesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

 

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