Europe

Strikes hit trains to French stadium, government stands firm

  • French railway workers and Labor unions members attend a demonstration against the French government and labor law reforms at Gare Du Nord Station in Paris France, Wednesday June 8, 2016. Workers of France's national rail service demonstrate as part of months of protests over changes to labor protections. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    French railway workers and Labor unions members attend a demonstration against the French government and labor law reforms at Gare Du Nord Station in Paris France, Wednesday June 8, 2016. Workers of France's national rail service demonstrate as part of months of protests over changes to labor protections. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • People have lunch past overflowing rubbish bags in Paris, France, Thursday, June 9, 2016. After a rough couple of months which have included protests, fuel shortages, rail strikes and once-in-a-generation floods, France's capital is facing a new challenge : Piles of uncollected trash. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

    People have lunch past overflowing rubbish bags in Paris, France, Thursday, June 9, 2016. After a rough couple of months which have included protests, fuel shortages, rail strikes and once-in-a-generation floods, France's capital is facing a new challenge : Piles of uncollected trash. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man walks past a overflowing pile of rubbish bags in Paris, France, Thursday, June 9, 2016. After a rough couple of months which have included protests, fuel shortages, rail strikes and once-in-a-generation floods, France's capital is facing a new challenge : Piles of uncollected trash. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

    A man walks past a overflowing pile of rubbish bags in Paris, France, Thursday, June 9, 2016. After a rough couple of months which have included protests, fuel shortages, rail strikes and once-in-a-generation floods, France's capital is facing a new challenge : Piles of uncollected trash. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)  (The Associated Press)

France's transport chief is threatening to force striking train drivers back to work to ensure transport for fans attending the European Championship soccer tournament starting Friday.

Unions are targeting the commuter train lines serving the national stadium hosting the opening match Friday, as part of nationwide strikes over labor conditions in recent weeks.

Alain Vidalies, junior minister for transport, insisted that transport to the opening match would be ensured.

But asked if the government would use special measures to force train drivers back to work for reasons of public order, Vidalies said Friday on Europe-1 radio that if transport problems worsen Saturday, "we will do it."

Garbage collectors are also on strike in some areas and Air France pilots are going on strike starting Saturday.