“The French have the right to Christmas vacation,” reacted the Minister for Transport this Sunday, a few days before an inter-union meeting at the SNCF.
The government wants at all costs to avoid a repeat difficulties at the end of 2022 on the rail. While two unions continue to brandish the threat of social mobilization at SNCF parasitizing the departures of the French on vacation at Christmas, the executive wants to be firm. Guest on the set of “Grand Jury RTL-Le Figaro-M6-Paris Première“, this Sunday, the Minister for Transport even judged that a strike would be “incomprehensible“.
“It would be incomprehensible, after what we experienced which was painful for thousands of families last year, for us to have a social movement at Christmas time.», declared Clément Beaune. Saying to do “confidence in social negotiation» between the social partners and management, the minister underlined that salaries could increase from 17% to more than 20%, depending on the situation, between 2022 and 2024, within the railway group. A balance sheet higher than inflation, likely to allay the concerns of the unions.
Some organizations have also “have already accepted these salary proposals“. “The French have the right to Christmas holidays […]. We must be able to spend a peaceful Christmas vacation with our family. […] The French deserve this rest“, he insisted, calling for “responsibility of all“.
This speech comes at a time when divisions remain between representatives of SNCF employees. The Unsa railway and the CFDT Cheminots clashed with management, welcoming “advances» for workers.
For their part, the CGT Cheminots and Sud-Rail remain, for the moment, mobilized. “Our slogan has not changed: a day of strike during major departures”thus confirmed the union delegate of the latter organization to the Figaro, last week. “If railway workers, in an unprecedented inflationary context, welcome the few measures decided upon although not fooled by their weakness, they will not give up seeking what management really owes them, and the bill is steep», warned the CGT Cheminots for its part in a press releaseNovember 23.
If the SNCF has reports record sales for the end-of-year holidays, a mobilization could well disrupt these weeks which promise to be busy to say the least for the railway group. Enough to recall the painful memory of 2022: last year, the Christmas weekend was strongly marked by a strike, penalizing hundreds of thousands of travelers. “In general, strikes should be avoided, particularly at Christmas. Because we know, the French are tired”, then pleaded Clément Beaune. An inter-union meeting planned for this week at the SNCF will perhaps make it possible to see whether the delegate minister will be heard more by the organizations this year.