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No Resolution in Sight for French Rail Strike

December 27, 1986

PARIS (AP) _ French trains continued operating at about one-fourth their regular schedule Saturday as the 10-day-old rail strike showed no sign of ending. The country’s largest union called for nationwide protests.

Management of the state-run railway system said it remained ready to discuss labor’s main demands - better working conditions and a higher pay scale - as soon as the workers return to work.

The unions continued to demand talks with no pre-conditions. The conservative government of Premier Jacques Chirac says salary increases must be limited to control inflation and increase employment.

Management invited the unions to a meeting Tuesday afternoon if the strikers ″prove their goodwill in beginning a return to work by Monday.″

Union reaction was negative.

The Communist-led General Confederation of Labor, France’s largest union, called on its members to demonstrate Tuesday in Paris and major provincial cities. The Socialist-led French Democratic Confederation of Labor was to vote Sunday on joining the demonstrations.

Meanwhile, merchant seamen and dockworkers continued their strike, keeping ship traffic in most major ports at a trickle. The maritime workers are protesting plans to let foreign sailors man some French ships.

The premier’s office said Chirac had canceled plans for a week’s vacation over the holidays and would remain in Paris. No reason was given.

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