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Paris train workers call new strike after Champions League ‘success’

Paris transport unions called Tuesday for a new strike to coincide with a French international football match, hailing the “success” of their action at the weekend that contributed to the chaos that marred the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

The strike on Saturday by train workers operating the RER B train line — a key artery that connects the north and south of Paris — severely complicated fan access to the Stade de France stadium.

The chaos at the match, which saw thousands of Liverpool supporters with tickets struggle to enter and police respond with tear gas, raised questions over the capacity of Paris to host the Olympic Games in 2024.

Transport unions have now called a new strike on the RER B for Friday, when France will take on Denmark in the same stadium north of the capital in the UEFA Nations League. 

“The success of the strike during the Champions League final puts the unions in a position of strength,” the unions CGT Metro-RER, Unsa and La Base said in a joint statement.

“The fiasco of May 28 generated worldwide media coverage and the management bears full responsibility for the problems of transporting supporters to the Stade de France.” 

“On June 3, we will mobilise for France-Denmark,” they added.

The train workers say that they are understaffed in terms of drivers and are also demanding a 1,500 euro ($1,600) bonus for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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