A hundred people, gathered at the call of SUD-rail, protested Friday morning at the Gare de Lyon, in Paris, against the rail policy of Emmanuel Macron, near the place where the president was celebrating with the SNCF the 40 years of the TGV, noted an AFP journalist. "We are there, we are there, even if Macron does not want, we are there", "Angry railway workers, we will not let ourselves be done", "All together, general strike", sang the demonstrators parading the along a quay, causing the arrival of the police who blocked access to the tracks and supervised the demonstration.
Dressed in green vests from the SUD-rail union or orange jackets from the SNCF, the railway workers had received reinforcement from some employees of the Transdev bus network, on strike in Val-d'Oise.
Deployed on the facade of a station building, a large banner illuminated by the burst of smoke proclaimed "SUD-rail will not let you break the SNCF".
"We cannot, in five years of mandate, have made a reform which aims to break the statute of the railway workers", to transform the SNCF into limited companies, "first step towards the privatization", to challenge "regularly" the regimes special retirement plans or "traffic facilities" (free or reduced tickets for railway workers and their relatives), "open up rail transport to competition" and "expect more than hoots from angry railway workers" , Fabien Villedieu, head of SUD-rail at the Gare de Lyon, told AFP. "If Macron had been president 40 years ago, we would never have been able to have the TGV," said the trade unionist. Because "at the time, we asked the SNCF, a public company, to go into enormous debt", which "no private company could have done", he added.
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Among the demonstrators, Zahir Aouchiche, CFDT delegate of the Transdev bus network in Saint-Gratien (Val-d'Oise) estimated: “we are all in the same situation, SNCF employees and Transdev bus drivers.
Because of competition, calls for tenders, Transdev is causing social damage.
And it will be the same at RATP, ”he worried.