Jean-Pierre Farandou, chairman and CEO of France’s state-owned rail operator, has called on trade unionists to call off the strike announced at SNCF.
“We will increase hiring, we will increase wages, we are proposing a platform for social progress, I don’t see why, instead, we should have a disruption for French people who want to go on holiday. I urge them to reflect, to be aware of the size of what has been put forward, they are serious, they are solid, they are coherent. And I say to them again, we are ready to discuss all the demands, but in a cold manner,” said the SNCF chief.
In a bid to avoid work stoppages, SNCF management has decided to allocate an extra €400 bonus in March, increase the rent allowance for employees living where the housing market is growing, make 3,000 extra promotions and hire 1,100 people, including 200 controllers.
Strike announced at SNCF could disrupt school holidays
A strike at the SNCF could take place from Thursday 15 February at 8pm until Monday 19 February at 8am because of dissatisfaction among ticket inspectors who want their professional status recognised.
The SNCF ticket inspectors have reactivated the collective dispute which began in December 2022. The National Collective of Commercial Train Service Agents has persuaded the SUD-Rail union to give notice of a strike. If it comes to work stoppage, this will affect the holiday departures of students in zone A (Poitiers, Bordeaux, Limoges, Clermont-Ferrand, Lyon, Grenoble, Dijon, Bezançon) and the mid-holiday weekend in zone C (Versailles, Paris, Créteil, Toulouse and Montpellier).
The main demand of the protesters is recognition of the professional importance of the job of ticket inspector, with monthly bonuses of at least 500 euros to be taken into account when determining pensions. The SNCF ticket inspectors are also unhappy about working hours and conditions. As far as the controllers are concerned, the management of the railway company has not kept its previous promises in this respect.