French labor standoff: rail company offers deal to unions

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With trains canceled across France on the seventh day of a nationwide strike, the SNCF national rail service has offered unions a deal on working hours to try to persuade train drivers to go back to work.

The strike is part of months of action against a government effort to loosen labor restrictions and allow longer working hours. The government fears it will disrupt the European Championship soccer tournament starting Friday.

A third of high-speed trains and about half of regional trains are canceled Tuesday because of the strike, along with many trains to or from Spain, Italy and Switzerland.

SNCF director Guillaume Pepy said Tuesday on Europe-1 radio that management went "to the farthest point possible" to meet union demands. Leading union CGT, however, appears skeptical of the deal.