The weekend can be difficult for passengers on TGV and Intercity trains. A strike launched by a collective of controllers forced the SNCF to cancel 60% of these trains from Friday to Sunday.
The supervisors decided to stop work all weekend to demand better recognition of their status. “Overall, over 80% of us are on holiday and over 90% on TGV, which is unheard of”, Agence France-Presse (AFP) confirmed that Nicolas Limon, a member of the National Collective of Commercial Train Service Agents (CNA), started his Facebook activity outside of any union in September and today has nearly 3,000 members. The unions (UNSA-Ferroviaire, SUD-Rail, CFDT-Cheminots and FO-Cheminots) have since given their support to the movement, with the exception of CGT-Cheminots.
About 10,000 train controllers in the SNCF, of which around 3,000 work on the TGV and Intercités, have an important function in terms of traffic and passenger safety. Trains cannot run without them. Therefore, the weekend promises to be extremely disruptive and a “gradual recovery” with 3 out of 4 trains on all TGV axes scheduled for Monday. The Atlantic axis is particularly affected, as for Ouigos, only 1 in 4 TGVs.
SNCF ‘surprised’ by move
“The management did not take measures for dissatisfaction”, AFP Rénald Szpitalnik, controller at selected SUD-Rail and TGV Paris-Milan. The collective was accepted twice by the management, but there was no concrete progress, and it did not implement the strike threat.
“This is a strike that neither we nor the unions saw coming”acknowledged Jean-Pierre Farandou, SNCF’s chairman and chief executive, at a conference organized by the magazine on Thursday. Challenges. “We were a bit surprised by this move”he admitted.
“We haven’t been on the road unless we work three weekends a month and don’t sleep at home ten nights a month”Nicolas Limon explains. With CNA, he calls for the integration of various bonuses into the base salary to be taken into account in the calculation of the pension.
These bonuses are performance-indexed and therefore not paid during sick leave or vacation, but also condemns the railway worker, who was one of the six supervisors at the beginning of the establishment of the collective. SNCF Voyageurs says it offers guidance “Increasing the job bonus to 600 euros per year for all captains”integration “in part” ago “With fixed wages in 2024”, “accelerating wage progression” and “Transition to two captains per train for all TGV Inoui within three years”.
Possible violations at Christmas
Proposals that fail to calm the mobilization. “We are not revolutionaries, but we need something concrete”, Nicholas Lemon assures. The collective issued a strike notice for the Christmas and New Year weekends to put pressure on SNCF, but “We will do our best not to have a holiday at Christmas”Mr. Limon promised.
The mobilization comes ahead of the start of mandatory annual negotiations (NAO) at SNCF group level on Wednesday. CGT, SUD-Rail and CFDT made a call “joint strike” That day. After this date, negotiations between skippers and management should continue and “From December 8 to 22, we will have fifteen days to enter the dialogue again” and hope to reach an agreement, said Nicholas Lemon.
Jean-Pierre Farandou, for his part, said he hopes he can “Find a balance between (…) on the one hand, ticket prices, on the other hand, the growth of railways, the availability of resources to innovate and invest…”.