As expected, travelers are facing a strike by SNCF controllers this weekend.
This Saturday, around 4 out of 10 TGVs and Intercités are running and passengers have been warned of the cancellations for several days, the company said.
The controllers - officially called captains - stopped work for the whole weekend, with a "gradual resumption" envisaged on Monday, to demand better recognition of their status.
“The management did not really see the anger that there was among the controllers and there, this weekend, it takes the measure of it”, declared this Saturday morning Fabien Villedieu, union representative Sud-Rail, on RMC .
Beyond the questions of remuneration, there is, according to him, a question of "improving working conditions" and "consideration" with controllers who "feel mistreated" and who are "at the front in the trains".
Strike of the controllers: Fabien Villedieu, union representative of Sud Rail, explains that "colleagues explain that they feel mistreated by the SNCF".
The direction of the SNCF announced Friday evening the organization of new meetings with the strikers.
— RMC (@RMCInfo) December 3, 2022
According to him, the strike is followed by around 80%, a figure also mentioned by Nicolas Limon, one of the six founding members of the collective (CNA) launched in September on Facebook outside of any trade union framework and which today has nearly 3 000 members.
The nearly 10,000 train supervisors at the SNCF, of whom nearly 3,000 work on the TGV and Intercités trains, have an essential function in terms of traffic and passenger safety.
Without them, trains cannot run.
Beaune calls for responsibility for Christmas
The unions, in support of the collective, have already filed a strike notice for the Christmas and New Year weekends in order to put pressure on the SNCF which, according to the unionist, has "room for maneuver to make suggestions.
This Saturday, Clément Beaune, the Minister Delegate for Transport, called for "collective responsibility" to avoid end-of-year strikes.
"There must be discussions," he pleaded to the press during an official trip to Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport.
"Let's work in the coming days to avoid end-of-year strikes," insisted the minister.
Read also“Christmas skiing, I can put an end to it”: travelers fear a new SNCF strike
On Friday evening, the management declared that "new meetings" were "planned for next week, as part of the dialogue initiated for weeks with the trade unions about the captains".
For their part, the SUD Rail and CFDT unions mentioned a “reopening of negotiations”, announcing a “specific round table on Thursday, December 8”, in a press release.
After this weekend of "temperature taking", Fabien Villedieu of Sud-Rail hopes for concrete proposals during the upcoming negotiations, saying "believe in social dialogue", especially as the holidays approach.
"It's a strike that we didn't see coming, neither us nor the unions", admitted Thursday the CEO of the SNCF, Jean-Pierre Farandou, during a conference organized by the magazine Challenges.
The collective of controllers had been received twice by the management, but without concrete progress, before carrying out its strike threat.
This mobilization also occurs before the start of the mandatory annual negotiations, which must begin on Wednesday at the level of the SNCF group.
The CGT, SUD-Rail and CFDT called for a “united strike” that day.