Strikes at SNCF and Air France Converge Again at the End of the Week

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Strikes at the SNCF and Air France converge at the end of the week

The strikes at the SNCF and Air France will converge Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th May. Trade unions, management and government are currently standing on their position.

The weekend will again be marked by disruptions in transport , the strikes at the SNCF coinciding with that of Air France Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th May, without any clear prospect of a way out of the crisis in these two Conflicts.

The parades of the 1st May will give the temperature, Tuesday, before the seventh strike sequence at the SNCF and the twelfth and thirteenth strike days for salaries at Air France .

Events in Paris on Thursday

Thursday, the railroads will go down again in the street to “put the pressure” on the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe who must receive their representatives on May 7th in Matignon. A rally is scheduled at 1pm in front of the Ecole Militaire in Paris and in prefectures in the regions.

The mobilization will be prolonged with a “meeting of the sectors in struggle”, on the forecourt of the North station, at the initiative of the union Solidaires.

It will probably be a question of the wage dispute at Air France, animated for two months by a large inter-union gathering of pilots, cabin crew and ground crew staff.

Friday, the second day of a consecutive strike, the management will communicate the result of a consultation on wages, launched by the President of Air France Jean-Marc Janaillac out of the crisis.

“No moratorium”

On the rails as in the air, traffic will be slowed again.

At Air France, the previous days of strike grounded between 25 and 30% of aircraft. SNCF side, only half of the TGV and a third of Intercités circulated this weekend . There were also only three in five Transilians and two out of five advertised TERs.

In both companies, it is difficult to imagine an impending end of conflict.

Railway workers continue to demand a gesture on three main axes of the railway reform: opening to competition, stopping the hiring of SNCF agents to the status (more advantageous than a private contract), transformation of the railway group into a public limited company with capital public.

However, Edouard Philippe recalled last week that these topics would be “not discussed”. The presidential majority now only wants to discuss the gradual and partial recovery of the SNCF debt.

Responding to a request from FO, the deputy LREM Haute-Vienne said there would be “no moratorium” on reform, “necessary for railway workers.”

Even if support for strikers seems to decline, according to an Ifop survey released Sunday, the momentum of generosity continues: the prize pool launched by thirty artists and intellectuals was close to one million euros Monday, April 30th, five days of its fence.

New strikes at Air France announced
Air France planes on the tarmac at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport on April 2, 2018, north of Paris. (© AFP / STEPHANE OF SAKUTIN)

“No movement” of the unions

For the time being, the positions seem irreconcilable between the executive and trade unions, which reproach it for making forced reforms without taking their views into account.

“The government no longer talks about dialogue, but about dialogue. He changed the words, but also the method. It is “always cause, you interest me”. It is screaming for the railwaymen, “denounced the boss of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, Monday in Liberation .

Laurent Berger, his counterpart of the CFDT, stressed “a form of negation of the intermediate bodies” which is “dangerous”, he summed up Sunday during the “Big meeting” (Cnews, Europe 1, Les Echos) .

“We can not say that we are not received, but we are rarely listened to.”

At Air France, the social dialogue is also skating. The management accuses the strike unions of being irresponsible, when they denounce a consultation that serves only to circumvent them, without solving the problem.

The vote has no legal value. Even if the “yes” prevails, it will be necessary to convince the unions to sign a salary plan (2% of general increase in 2018 then 5% over three years) which they reject.

The social week ends Saturday with the “party Macron”, a Paris event launched by the LFI deputy François Ruffin to bring together the various hotbeds of discontent in the country (SNCF, Air France, Ehpad, pensioners, associations, etc.).

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