Europe

French trains hit hard by latest protest over labor reform

  • Commuters head to one of the few trains running after a strike starts at the Gare Saint Lazare train station, in Paris, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Workers at the SNCF national rail authority, whose train service will be crucial to the upcoming Euro 2016 football championship spectators, are on an open-ended strike to protest their working conditions and a controversial government labor reform. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Commuters head to one of the few trains running after a strike starts at the Gare Saint Lazare train station, in Paris, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Workers at the SNCF national rail authority, whose train service will be crucial to the upcoming Euro 2016 football championship spectators, are on an open-ended strike to protest their working conditions and a controversial government labor reform. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • Commuters head to one of the few trains running after a strike stars at the Gare Saint Lazare train station, in Paris, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Workers at the SNCF national rail authority, whose train service will be crucial to Euro 2016 spectators, are on an open-ended strike to protest their working conditions and a controversial government labor reform. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Commuters head to one of the few trains running after a strike stars at the Gare Saint Lazare train station, in Paris, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Workers at the SNCF national rail authority, whose train service will be crucial to Euro 2016 spectators, are on an open-ended strike to protest their working conditions and a controversial government labor reform. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man stands on an empty platform after a strike starts at the Gare Saint Lazare train station, in Paris, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Workers at the SNCF national rail authority, whose train service will be crucial to the upcoming Euro 2016 football championship spectators, are on an open-ended strike to protest their working conditions and a controversial government labor reform. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    A man stands on an empty platform after a strike starts at the Gare Saint Lazare train station, in Paris, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Workers at the SNCF national rail authority, whose train service will be crucial to the upcoming Euro 2016 football championship spectators, are on an open-ended strike to protest their working conditions and a controversial government labor reform. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

Much of France's rail network has ground to a halt as rail workers strike in protest against changes to French labor rules.

According to the SNCF national rail authority, about 40 percent of France's high-speed trains and more than half of regional trains are cancelled. Eurostar trains to London are expected to run normally, however, though more than half of trains to Spain and Italy are affected. Commuter trains serving Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport are also being impacted by the strike.

Three of the four unions representing workers at SNCF called for a strike Wednesday. Unions are threatening to stay off the job through the start of the European Championship soccer tournament next week.

Nationwide labor action this week is tapping public anger at a bill allowing employers more freedom to lay off staff and extend working hours.