Complicated weekend in perspective in French stations: a strike launched by a collective of controllers forced the SNCF to cancel 60% of its TGV and Intercités from Friday to Sunday.
The controllers decided to stop work for the whole weekend to demand better recognition of their status.
In detail, the SNCF plans 1 train out of 2 on the TGV Nord, 1 out of 3 on the TGV Est, 1 out of 4 on the TGV Atlantique, 1 out of 3 on the TGV Sud-Est, 1 out of 4 on Ouigo and 1 Intercités out of 2.
International traffic will be normal for Eurostar and Thalys.
On the other hand, 1 out of 3 TGVs will run towards Switzerland, 1 out of 2 towards Germany, 1 out of 3 towards Italy and no circulation will take place towards Spain.
The recovery will be gradual on Monday with 3 out of 4 trains on all axes.
Customers who have booked a trip over the next few days will receive information by email or SMS specifying whether their train is maintained or not.
"All travelers can be fully reimbursed for trips scheduled between Friday and Monday, or exchange their ticket free of charge in all trains where there is space until Thursday, December 8 inclusive", reassures us at SNCF Voyageurs .
“80%” of controllers on strike
Without these almost 10,000 SNCF controllers, of whom nearly 3,000 work on the TGV and Intercités, it would be impossible for the trains to circulate.
"In total, more than 80% of us are on strike and more than 90% on the TGV, it's unheard of," assured Nicolas Limon, member of the National Collective ASCT (CNA), launched in September on Facebook outside any trade union framework and which today has nearly 3,000 members.
"We are not considered to be traveling personnel when we work three weekends a month and do not sleep at home ten evenings in the month", explains Nicolas Limon.
With the CNA, he calls for the integration of various bonuses to the base salary so that they are taken into account in the calculation of the pension.
The unions (Unsa-Ferroviaire, SUD-Rail, CFDT-Cheminots and FO-Cheminots) have since all given their support to the movement, with the exception of the CGT-Cheminots.
"The management has not taken the measure of the discontent", argued Rénald Szpitalnik, elected SUD-Rail and controller in the TGV Paris-Milan.
The collective was received twice by the management, but without concrete progress, before carrying out its strike threat.
"It's a strike that we didn't see coming, neither us nor the unions," acknowledged SNCF CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou on Thursday during a conference organized by the magazine Challenges.
"We were a little surprised by this move," he admitted.
Two strike notices for the holidays
This mobilization comes on the eve of the start of the mandatory annual negotiations (NAO), which must begin next Wednesday at the level of the SNCF group.
The CGT, SUD-Rail and CFDT called for a "united strike" that day.
After this date, negotiations between captains and management should resume and “between December 8 and 22, we will have 15 days to re-engage in a dialogue” and reach an agreement, said Nicolas Limon hoped.
The collective has filed a strike notice for the weekends of Christmas (December 23 to 26) and New Year's (December 30 to January 2) in order to put pressure on the SNCF.
But “we will do our best to ensure that there is no strike at Christmas,” promised Nicolas Limon.
Jean-Pierre Farandou said for his part that he hoped to be able to "find a balance between (...) ticket prices on the one hand, an increase in railway workers on the other, having the resources to innovate and to invest..."