Towards a new Christmas strike at the SNCF? It is still too early to say, but Sud-Rail, one of the four unions representing the railway company, is raising the threat. Information revealed by Le Parisien this Tuesday, confirmed to Le Figaro by Julien Troccaz, federal secretary of Sud-Rail. “We wrote to the three other unions (CGT Cheminots, Unsa-Ferroviaire, CFDT Cheminots, Editor's note) to suggest they meet next week, and putting on the table a strike movement as united as possible by the end of the year,” specifies the trade unionist. The letter mentions the construction of “a powerful mobilization, exclusively on the subject of salaries”.
The letter was sent last week, the day after a round table between the unions and SNCF management on Wednesday November 8, as part of the obligatory annual negotiations (NAO). A round table from which Sud-Rail emerged deeply “disappointed”. The increase in payroll proposed by the company's management, of 4.6% on average in 2024, is considered "largely insufficient", thunders Julien Troccaz. Especially since these 4.6% are an addition of measures, including a general increase of 1.8% for all employees. At Sud-Rail, we are demanding “a general increase in salaries of 400 euros per month for all railway workers”.
Philippe Bru, new director of human resources at SNCF, notes that “this is two points more than the level of inflation estimated at 2.6% next year. Over the last two years, the increase in remuneration at SNCF has generally increased by 12% on average, or 6% per year, and even 14% for the lowest salaries. Over the last three years, the lowest salaries in the railway group will have been increased on average by 21%, indicates the SNCF.
But “the strike is not an end in itself,” explains Julien Troccaz. The message we want to send to management is: don’t play the rotten card, we want to reopen salary negotiations.” If the call is not heard, “everything is on the table,” says the railway worker. “The possibility of having one or more days of action in December which would include the big departures (on vacation) is on the table,” confirmed his colleague Erik Meyer, federal secretary of the union. We could then relive the situation of last year, when a strike by SNCF controllers, outside of any union framework, disrupted rail traffic in the middle of the Christmas weekend, with around 200,000 travelers having seen their trains canceled .
However, even at Sud-Rail, we have not yet officially adopted an official position on management's proposals. The union, third in terms of representativeness within the railway group, will continue to consult its members until November 21, but "what comes up is that the vast majority are opposed to signing the agreement", said Erik Meyer. Trade union organizations have until November 22 to sign or not this agreement. As for the three other unions, we have not yet reached a position. Unsa-Ferroviaire, the second union of the SNCF, must decide this Wednesday. As for the CGT-Cheminots, there is little doubt about its position. In a leaflet dated last week, the union criticizes “indecent and contemptuous proposals in view of the accumulated salary disputes”.