French train workers protest rail reform as support for 9-day strike appears to wane

Hundreds of train workers have marched in Paris in anger, as support for their 9-day-old strike over a railways reform appears to be shrinking.

The workers are trying to thwart a bill under debate in parliament that would pave the way for opening up railways to competition in coming years, as part of a Europe-wide liberalization.

Workers fear it will mean loss of jobs and quality, and hundreds marched Thursday from the Montparnasse train station to the Invalides monument in Paris. They fired flares but no violence was reported.

The SNCF train operator said about 10 percent of workers were on strike Thursday, down from 27 percent at the outset of the strike last week. The strike has disrupted travel nationwide for commuters, tourists and others.