Will a strike be announced before the Christmas holidays?

The threat of a “powerful mobilization” is hovering over the end-of-year holidays, to oppose the salary measures proposed by the SNCF management for the year 2024. Currently no official announcement has been made, but SUD-Rail, at the initiative of the movement, is determined to reach a better agreement.

Will the SNCF disrupt the end-of-year celebrations? The syndicate SUD-Rail announced “build a powerful mobilization” has just over a month after the Christmas school holidays, which start on December 23. In 2022, the controller movement was launched outside any union framework had prevented 200,000 travelers from taking the train on the weekend of December 24.

The union, third in terms of representativeness within the railway group, does not rule out days of action during the Christmas holidays, it writes in a letter addressed to the other SNCF unions, the CGT-Cheminots, ‘Unsa-Ferroviaire and CFDT -Cheminots, and on Tuesday, November 14 revealed by The Parisian. SUD-Rail wants mobilization “exclusively in the field of salaries, making it possible to unite statutory and contractual railway workers”reports BFMTV.

Discussions on the issue of salaries

SUD-Rail wants to force SNCF to do this “Reopen negotiations and respond to them [se]s demands that are simply a matter of social justice”, because the recent announcements have not convinced. On Wednesday, November 8, the SNCF management announced that it had made a proposal “average increase” salaries of 4.6% for the year 2024, including an overall increase of 1.8%, as part of the Compulsory Annual Negotiations (NAO). At the same time, low wages would receive an extra boost, so that everyone would be at least 10% above the minimum wage. According to the group’s HR director, Philippe Bru, with the increases granted in 2022 and 2023, salaries will have increased by an average of 17% over three years if the 2024 proposal is applied.

SUD-Rail describes this figure as “communication plan”. “In reality, it’s an overall increase of 1.8%, and that’s not enough! We’re constantly lagging behind inflation. Everything is increasing, and the railroad workers can’t handle it!”regrets the Parisian Julien Troccaz, federal secretary of SUD-Rail. “NOTOur demand is very simple: an increase of 400 euros per month. This would cost the SNCF about 700 million euros per year, which made 2 billion in profits and donated over a billion to the competition fund.explains Western France Fabien Villedieu, one of the spokespersons for the SUD-Rail Federation. This increase would not only result in an improvement in purchasing power “Recruitment Complications”because “Today, SNCF is no longer attractive and we have major personnel problems”adds the trade unionist.

“We’re going to look for something better.”

Erik Meyer, federal secretary of SUD-Rail, hopes to create the conditions for union unity. “We are still in consultation with all our members to know whether or not we will sign this salary agreementexplains Fabien Villedieu Western France. We’re going to look for something better.” And to achieve this, SUD-Rail leaves all options open.

“We are not ruling out anything at this time: the possibility of holding one or more days of action in December, including the major departures, is on the table.”

Erik Meyer, federal secretary of SUD-Rail

to AFP

SUD-Rail will continue to consult its members until Tuesday, November 21. “What comes back is that the vast majority are against signing the agreement”noted Erik Meyer, but, pAt this time, no social movement has been officially announced. He still is “too early to say it” because it will depend “what the other unions are going to do”possible “compromise”and from “what the inter-union will decide on the follow-up”specified Fabien Villedieu.

As for the other unions, Unsa-Ferroviaire, the second union of the SNCF, “decided [mercredi] to sign the salary proposals of management, obtained after negotiations” and will therefore not participate in the movement, reports Le Figaro. “We are currently consulting with our structures and members, next week we will decide on the NAO”Thomas Cavel, general secretary of the CFDT Cheminots, told BFMTV.

Last year, only the CFDT signed the agreement on mandatory annual negotiations. A strike by inspectors, launched outside any trade union framework, subsequently caused massive disruptions in the middle of the Christmas weekend. “La strike is not an end in itselfassured the Figaro Julien Froccaz. LThe message we want to send to management is: ‘Don’t play the bad card, we want to reopen salary negotiations.'”

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