The launch of the Léman Express, a network of new train links between the Switzerland and neighbouring France, is threatened by a strike by French train workers, according to the newspaper Le Messager.
French unions are demanding French staff be paid more, pointing to the difference between their pay and that of their Swiss counterparts, who are on higher salaries.
While they don’t expect to paid the same, French employees want a pay supplement to cover the higher cost of living in the region close to Switzerland where the cost of living is similar to Paris and higher than much of the rest of France.
When asked whether a strike would affect the operation of the new project, Mario Warren, director of the network, told Tribune de Genève that “It all depends on the number and type of staff striking. We could, for example, serve Annemasse with Swiss drivers if staff at this station were not on strike. If not then we could reroute via Chêne-Bourg.” “Scenarios are being discussed with the SNCF”, he said.
The new cross-border train service has created an additional 142 jobs in France.