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SNCF: Christmas strike threats definitively buried

A sword in the water.

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SNCF: Christmas strike threats definitively buried

A sword in the water. The SUD-Rail union has finally given up on organizing a social movement during the big departures which precede the Christmas holidays, confirms the general secretary of the organization to Le Figaro. The CGT-Cheminots, another protesting union of the SNCF, had already refused on Tuesday to file a joint strike notice during an inter-union meeting of the group. A consultation of its troops organized Wednesday morning by SUD-Rail definitively buried the strike threats made by the union for several weeks.

A member of the CFDT-Cheminots warned on Tuesday afternoon that "the prospect of a national strike at the SNCF by the end of the year is no longer really envisaged", believing that it would be difficult " politically" for SUD-Rail to organize such a strike alone. The four representative organizations of the SNCF (Unsa, CFDT, CGT and SUD) should sign together a “common complementary demand” at the beginning of 2024, to complete the measures decided by management at the end of the obligatory annual negotiations, as explicitly envisaged the inter-union. Internal consultations will have to ratify this project.

The two radical unions, accustomed to blockages during the end-of-year holidays, refused to sign the salary agreement proposed by SNCF management. Unlike the UNSA-Ferroviaire and the CFDT-Cheminots which decided to initial it. “What is being proposed is a salary increase below inflation,” Fabien Villedieu was indignant shortly after dismissing the management’s agreement.

Despite the absence of signature from the CGT and SUD, although they have a majority between them, the SNCF unilaterally ratified the agreement. The group has thus recorded a salary increase estimated at 4.6% on average over the year 2024. In addition to a 1.8% general increase, the railway group should pay a value sharing bonus of 400 euros to nearly 140,000 railway workers. Management has also committed to increasing low salaries so that none falls below the level of 1.1 times the minimum wage.

The Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, deemed the prospect of a strike during the holidays “incomprehensible” last Sunday, recalling the “painful” memory of the disruptions to rail traffic during the Christmas weekend last year. “The French have the right to Christmas holidays [...]. We must be able to spend a peaceful Christmas vacation with our family,” insisted the government member. The deputy general secretary of the CFDT-Cheminots, Sébastien Mariani, fully subscribes. “It is always difficult to organize a social movement during these large family gatherings, it is the best way to be hated,” he confided to Le Figaro last week. They seem to have been heard.

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