Residents of Geneva told to stay home on October 12 as strike disruption looms
UPDATE: SEV and Transfair members have voted overwhelmingly to continue the strike on October 13. Almost no trams and buses are running in the city centre because of the surprise announcement. Find out more here.
On October 12, the Swiss city of Geneva will be hit with a wave of strike action by workers at Transports publics genevois (TPG) - the local public transport provider - and a number of other public institutions. TPG has told people to stay home during the strike, with mass disruption expected on the network throughout the day.
Wave of strikes to hit Geneva on October 12
On October 12, members of the SEV and Transfair trade unions in Geneva will strike over salaries and working hours. The union's demand for a 1,2 percent salary increase was not met by TPG, and after the first attempt at a strike was called off, the unions finally confirmed that strike action would take place on October 12.
SEV and Transfair represent a large number of TPG bus and tram drivers, meaning that most public transport will come to a standstill within city limits. The strike will be swelled by civil servants who work for the canton and a large number of teachers.
TPG will only offer minimal service in Geneva during the strike
TPG said that “minimum service” will be offered on October 12, but cannot guarantee that services will run. According to TPG spokesperson François Mutter, the strikes "will greatly complicate" local services, but he assured that the Léman Express and regular SBB services to other towns and Swiss cities will be unaffected.
The company advised customers to seek alternative transport on the day or to work from home. Residents will receive regular updates about the disruption through the TPG website or TPGPreview mobile app.
Families in Geneva told to contact schools about the strike
According to World Radio Switzerland, families are also encouraged to contact their child's school to see if classes will be disrupted, as many teachers in Geneva - but not all - will be joining the strike. Other administrative functions such as those offered by local councils may also be affected.
In addition, the buses and trams which are running are expected to be delayed significantly between 3pm and 7pm on October 12, due to a planned march by public sector workers. Drivers are also advised to avoid the city centre, as the march will be going over the Mont-Blanc Bridge in the middle of rush hour, which will likely lead to massive traffic jams in and around the city.
Update: TPG workers will continue to strike on October 13
In a meeting on the evening of October 12, 90 percent of SEV and Transfair members voted to continue the strike on October 13, due to an “absence of acceptable proposals” by TPG. However, cantonal workers and teachers are still expected to return to work on October 13.
The company has confirmed that even fewer services will run on October 13, as they haven't had the time to plan and introduce an emergency timetable. Passengers are encouraged to use the TPG website or app for regular updates on the disruption.