Less than a month since the Paris terror attacks that killed 130 and fueled international concerns over security, Paris transport workers are expressing their concerns for their own safety. Workers went on a 24-hour strike Thursday, saying security concerns have increased as a result of a high number of suspicious packages being reported on Paris public transportation, the Agence France-Presse reported.
Passengers in Paris reported severely disrupted train traffic Thursday as a result of the strike, which was supported by various transport unions. Since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks — which the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, has claimed responsibility for — there have been four times as many reports of suspicious packages on Paris transport than before the attacks, the AFP reported.
The strike affects the RER A line, one of the busiest train lines in Western Europe and which takes on more than 100 million passengers a year, Forbes reported. Train drivers have to take their trains through stations that are not completely secure and that some have to check the suspicious packages before the police arrive, the unions have claimed.
“The directives to protect the zones where a suspicious package is found are not being respected,” the general secretary for one of the unions, Jacques Eliez, told the AFP. “Some suitcases left on the platforms are opened without informing the police.”
Security measures across Europe, especially in France, were heightened after the attacks, including a move to ban all large demonstrations over safety concerns in Paris, Public Radio International reported. Along Paris’ long boulevards and in its train system, armed guards can still be seen on patrol.
— The Local France (@TheLocalFrance) December 10, 2015
Shortly after the attacks, the French government said it would install security gates at the Paris and Lille train stations by the end of December, the Local reported. It was also suggested after the attacks that additional security measures should be put in place, such as passengers’ names being printed on all train tickets.