Watching The Rugby World Cup? French Strikes Suggest Travel Upset

Watching The Rugby World Cup? French Strikes Suggest Travel Upset

Fans traveling to France for the Rugby World Cup this month should brace themselves for potential travel disruptions as strikes have been scheduled. This could lead to travel chaos for supporters from New Zealand and Ireland, making their journey to the tournament quite challenging.

Numerous supporters making their way to France in the upcoming weeks for the Rugby World Cup could encounter disruptions due to various strikes scheduled to take place throughout the tournament, commencing this weekend.

Le Monde stated that the primary association of air traffic controllers, the National Union of Air Traffic Controllers (SNCTA), is urging for a countrywide walkout on 15th September. In contrast to the recent strikes aimed at protesting President Macron's pension adjustments (specifically altering the retirement age from 62 to 64 years), these strikes demand a salary hike that matches inflation rates and the requirement for an obligatory yearly salary discussion.

The time frame for the Rugby World Cup spans from 8 September to 28 October, and it is expected that a significant number of spectators from various nations will choose air travel to attend the matches. According to EuroNews, an estimated 2.5 million tickets have been purchased, with approximately 600,000 individuals arriving from countries beyond France. It has been mentioned that the same organization has scheduled an additional strike to occur on 13 October.

The games, which kick off with France facing off against New Zealand at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris on Friday 8 September, will take place in various locations throughout the country, including arenas in Saint-Étienne, Bordeaux, Marseille, Toulouse, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Nice, and Nantes.

The strikes carried out by air traffic controllers in the early part of 2023 created significant chaos for tourists, not only those journeying to and from France but also for flights passing through French airspace, which is quite common for many European flights. In March alone, over 10 million travelers encountered the impact of these strikes, with a sizable portion of them not even planning to land in France.

Furthermore, an alternate coalition has appealed for countrywide demonstrations on Friday 13 October to advocate for salary hikes aligned with the rise in cost of living. They also demand improved equity in wealth distribution and enhanced gender parity.

This alliance brings together various labor unions (CFDT, CGT, FO, CFTC, CFE-CGC, Unsa, Solidaires, and FSU) that advocate for transportation employees, workers in oil refineries, educators, government workers, and waste disposal personnel. The outcome of this strike across the country is still uncertain.

Furthermore, the public transportation employees in Paris are also slated to engage in a strike coinciding with the Rugby World Cup. According to EuroNews, these workers have not been granted an augmented salary despite the heightened demands on their services (although they will receive a supplementary bonus).

Besides the various protests taking place throughout France at this time, the FLAI Trasporti union in Italy has announced their intention to go on strike for a full day on 8 September. The individuals affected by this strike primarily include baggage handlers and ground staff employed at Italian airports. Furthermore, on 16 September, air traffic controllers are also scheduling an eight-hour strike that will impact the entirety of Italian airspace, commencing from 10am until 6pm.

If you're thinking of going on a trip to watch the games, it's a good idea to get insurance just in case your flights get messed up while you're traveling to or from France.

For all those who cannot attend the stadiums in person and are curious about how to stream the Rugby World Cup matches on TV in the United States, NBC Sports offers a solution. Rugby enthusiasts from different nations can refer to the compilation of worldwide broadcasters to find out how they can partake in the thrilling experience.

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