Strike at the SNCF: Traffic Forecasts for the 3rd Episode

General News
The third episode of strike since early April to influence the railway reform under consideration in the National Assembly, starts Thursday at 8pm

This Friday, on the occasion of the third episode of strike at the SNCF, a TGV and a TER out of three circulate, and two Transilien Intercités out of five.

The traffic is announced a little less disturbed Friday for the beginning of the third episode of the dotted strike at the SNCF.  But the unions maintain the pressure the day after a televised intervention of Emmanuel Macron who did not reassure them.

While the school holidays of zone C (academies of Ile-de-France, Toulouse and Montpellier) begin in the evening, the SNCF plans more trains than during the first days of the strike by episode launched to block the Government Rail Reform Project.

The forecasts : 

  • A TGV on three
  • One TER out of three
  • Two in five Transilien
  • One Intercity train in five
  • “Normal” traffic for Eurostar
  • “Almost normal” traffic for Thalys
  • One in six Lyria

38% of strikers

According to the SNCF, 38% of staff essential to train traffic will be on strike, much less than in the first episode of the strike (48% on April 3 and 4), more than last Sunday (35%) and less than Monday (43%).

President Macron said Thursday he wants to “go to the end” of the reform “essential” SNCF, which “must reorganize.” He called the unions “calm,” claiming to have “heard” them.

The four representative unions at SNCF, which have been demanding for weeks “real negotiations” on the reform, have all criticized the presidential intervention.

The status of railway workers? This “contract” will be retained for those who “came back with” to the SNCF and even for those who will be transferred to another company after opening to competition, assured the president. “So we are not asking for any effort, we are just telling them to accept” the removal of the status for “new” hires, whose contracts will be based on the collective “convention” of rail transport “which will be defined later “He said.

Faux, retorted SUD-Rail (3rd union of the SNCF): “announce as (Macron) did that only new entrants would be impacted” by the removal of status “is wrong” because Elisabeth Borne, the Minister Transport, and Guillaume Pepy, the head of the SNCF, “both confirmed the future repeal of the decree fixing the status”.

“A hesitant president”

The Head of State also stressed that the SNCF would be “a public company with 100% public capital”. His debt of some 50 billion euros will be taken up in part “from the beginning”, then the rest “gradually”, depending on the progress of the reforms, he said. And the state “will invest 10 million euros per day for 10 years” to “maintain the lines”.

The president has “not made a clear commitment on funding,” lamented Roger Dillenseger, secretary general of Unsa Rail (2nd union).

The CGT Cheminots (1st union) saw “a hesitant president, who does not say much, who probably does not master the file of the reform and which, far from reassuring, reinforces the determination of the railway workers”.

The CFDT Cheminots (4th union), “strongly disappointed” by the presidential statements, is “even more determined” to continue the strike, even if Ms. Borne has retained “some of its proposals”, a “largely insufficient progress”, said his Deputy Secretary General, Rémi Aufrère-Privel.

The third episode of the two-day strike launched in early April by the trio CGT, UNSA, CFDT will end Sunday at 7.55am.  SUD-Rail, which has launched an indefinite strike, will demonstrate Friday afternoon in Paris with students, postal workers and health workers.

At the Assembly, MPs finished Thursday the first reading of the draft railway reform law, which will be the subject of a solemn vote Tuesday.

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