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“I am disappointed”: the French are organizing in the face of the probable SNCF strike this weekend

After a “last chance” meeting Monday evening at SNCF headquarters, the strike now seems inevitable.

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“I am disappointed”: the French are organizing in the face of the probable SNCF strike this weekend

After a “last chance” meeting Monday evening at SNCF headquarters, the strike now seems inevitable. The CGT and Sud-Rail maintained their call for a strike by controllers this weekend, in the middle of the school holidays in zone C (Île-de-France, Montpellier, Toulouse) and at the start of those in zone A ( Bordeaux, Lyon, Grenoble, among others). Although the SNCF has not yet communicated its traffic plans - it must do so this Wednesday - many French people are already ready to anticipate and organize themselves differently, favoring carpooling or plane. “This recurring contempt of the French who hope to go on vacation and are taken hostage by the eternal practitioners of the strike is a French scourge”, even writes the elected LR Florence Portelli on X (ex-Twitter), deploring the absence “ of public service when the principle of continuity is regularly violated.

And many Internet users this Tuesday complained about strikes at the SNCF which they consider recurring, and particularly penalizing during the holidays, for families and children. “The SNCF unions are irresponsible. By striking every holiday, they will succeed in establishing a limitation on the right to strike for the train. And this will be normal,” writes an Internet user, for example. “With all your advantages, you are never satisfied, always more! We are “bleeding” ourselves to pay for the tickets and you are preventing us from living and we will not have the extra 100 or 200 euros per month, what a shame!”, indignant another. “These wealthy people take pleasure in pissing off… the people who, THEY, work, and are not stuffed with bonuses like the railway workers are!!,” says a third.

“Railroad workers are not wealthy. They exercise a very good profession in the service of the country,” said Bernard Vivier, director of the Higher Labor Institute, in their defense, while conceding this Tuesday morning on France 2 that this public service profession still involved “some rights but also duties”, such as “not to interrupt vacations”. For many travelers, the announcement of this strike appears unacceptable, especially since ticket prices have increased significantly in recent months. “We’re being held hostage! I am a student, I saved money to be able to take the train and go visit my grandmother because my grandfather died not long ago,” Kaya loses her temper this Tuesday, saying to herself ready to “flip out” if her train is canceled.

Same fear for Marie, who was to go on vacation on Saturday towards Brittany. If she says "respect the right to strike" and "understand the interest of railway workers in using school holidays to put pressure on the management of the SNCF", this mother is no less "tired of in advance” of having to manage a possible disappointment “under stress”. This is the reason why the thirty-year-old has already resorted to renting a car. On the Driiveme website, she finally found a Citroën C4 available. The only problem is that the Parisian will have to pick up the vehicle in Compiègne, in Oise. “It’s painful but it’s the only way I’ve found to avoid going through “last minute” hell,” she breathes.

More measured, Maxime says he is “disappointed”, as he has to go to Dijon this weekend for a family reunion that has been postponed many times and postponed for a long time. “We have to go see my sister who I haven’t seen in a long time. For the moment I am waiting, but I have already looked at alternative solutions,” he explains, specifying that the bus journey is twice as expensive as the train, with very few timetables available, the journeys by carpooling being more numerous but also more expensive. “It’s annoying, it’s going to cost more, even though we had planned ahead,” laments the young man, who also regrets not going to a “priority” destination.

Also read: Why SNCF Connect sells certain tickets much more expensive than its German equivalent

Because priority will be given to “snow” destinations towards the Alps or the Pyrenees, as well as on children’s trips, via the maintenance of the “Junior and company” offer, said Jean-Pierre Farandou, guest of the morning of RTL this Tuesday morning. The CEO of the SNCF, however, indicated that the company had not “yet finalized the transport offer” which will be offered this weekend to users, regretting “really that the SNCF cannot be completely there ". It is therefore impossible to know the ratio of trains canceled by the company for the moment. The head of the SNCF, however, promises to “do the maximum”, trying to serve all major French cities.

When contacted, SNCF Voyageurs was not able to provide further details regarding the traffic forecasts, which “should be announced tomorrow (Wednesday, Editor’s note)”. It is also impossible to know if the list of canceled trains will be revealed on Wednesday, or if only general forecasts will be communicated initially. The fact remains that travelers will have at least two days to turn around, promised Jean-Pierre Farandou, who cannot ignore that every year, more than 10 million travelers take the train during this winter holiday period.

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