a Christmas strike “no longer really considered” by the unions


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The SUD-Rail union, which is calling for a major walkout at Christmas, wanted to rally the CGT-Cheminots to its cause during an inter-union meeting this Tuesday. He was refused.

A sword in the water. The syndicate SUD-Rail hoped to convince the CGT-Cheminots to lead hand in hand a strike movement during the end-of-year holidays on the French rail network. But the CGT members refused during an inter-union meeting organized this Tuesday, according to information from the Figaro. “The prospect of a national strike at the SNCF by the end of the year is no longer really envisaged», says a participant of the meeting.

SUD-Rail will consult all of its members on Wednesday morning. The question is whether the union, which represents a little less than 20% of SNCF employees, will go alone. “We will officially speak tomorrow evening on what SUD-Rail will do», Indicates Fabien Villedieu, secretary general of the organization, who does not wish to speak further. A union opponent nevertheless confided to the Figaro that it will be difficultpolitically» for SUD-Rail to organize such a strike alone.

At this stage, the most likely hypothesis is that the four organizations (Unsa, CFDT, CGT and SUD) together sign a “common complementary claim» at the beginning of 2024, to complete the measures decided by the management of the SNCF at the end of the obligatory annual negotiations, as explicitly envisaged by the inter-union. Internal consultations will have to ratify this project.

“The best way to make yourself hated”

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

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The Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, judged last Sunday “incomprehensible” the prospect of a strike during the holidays, recalling the memory “painful» 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 Figaro last week. They seem to have been heard.



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