Unexpected Eurotunnel strike disrupts train traffic under Channel

PARIS (Reuters) -An unexpected strike by French workers at Eurotunnel, the undersea link between Britain and continental Europe, on Thursday interrupted cross-Channel rail traffic, threatening the Christmas holiday plans of many travellers.

“Today’s call for strike action by representatives of Eurotunnel’s French site staff unions has resulted in the complete interruption of service and the closure of our terminals in France and the UK”, a Getlink spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.

The company added that trade unions had rejected a bonus payment of 1,000 euros ($1,097.60) announced by management, demanding for the amount to be trebled.

Trade union officials at the company could not immediately be reached for comment.

Train operator Eurostar said in a post on X: “We would recommend postponing your journey if you can, even if it’s until tomorrow.”

On its travel updates page, Eurostar said train traffic to and from London was currently suspended.

Numerous unverified social media posts from people trying to reach London or Paris for Christmas earlier said they were stuck in trains or train stations, some citing trains being possibly turned back to their departure stations.

($1 = 0.9111 euros)

(Reporting by Piotr Lipinski and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Toby Chopra and GV De Clercq)