SNCF: New Day of Disruption on the First Day of the Holidays

General News
A new day of distruption at SNCF with Strike action

This Saturday 19th October 2019, the SNCF traffic will be substantially the same as the day before, while continues the surprise strike of drivers and train controllers.

As the day before, the SNCF traffic will remain very disturbed this Saturday 19th October 2019.  On the first day of the school holidays, management and unions have not found a compromise that could encourage drivers and controllers to lift their right of withdrawal, exercised after an accident who injured several people on Wednesday, including a train driver.

After five hours of talks, the two sides have separated without agreement and should see themselves in the “current of next week”, the management told AFP.

9 TGV in 10, the Ouigo very affected

In the meantime, she calls the drivers and controllers to “resume work as soon as possible because they are in an irregular situation,” she says.

Traffic side, “the situation will be very similar” to that of Friday, where the TER network and some lines in the Paris region were very disturbed.

TGVs will also be slightly affected in the South-East region (Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Montpellier) and Atlantic-West (Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux), with 9 trains out of 10. Traffic will be normal in the North and East . There will be no low-cost Ouigo train in the Paca region.

Read also: Black Saturday for the SNCF in Normandy: “less than 10%” of trains that circulate

Three proposals

During the meeting with all the unions, which began around 18H30 Friday, the management made three proposals: strengthen the alert and train safety system and “sift through all the security measures to apply by the driver in the event of an accident “,” to distribute in time the new train departure procedures, which were to be applied on December 15 “and” to accelerate very strongly the recruitment in 2019, in particular contributing to the safety of goods and people “.

“These proposals were not seized by the trade unions,” the management said at the end of the meeting.

“Many formal notices”

Another meeting was held in the morning between the management and the CGT, which calls for the mandatory presence of a controller by train, while the injured driver was the only SNCF agent aboard his TER, which circulated in Champagne- Ardenne.

“This strike without notice is totally irregular,” TER branch director Frank Lacroix said at a press conference Friday.

There were “several formal notices,” said the management in the night from Friday to Saturday.

Friday afternoon, the SNCF had reported 55% of TER in circulation. During the day, there was one Intercity train out of two, while in the Paris region 70% of the Transilians were in circulation, but again with considerable disparities, with the RER B and D being the most affected, as well as the R, H lines. , J, K and L.

In the main train stations, SNCF assistance agents dressed in a red vest directed the users, sometimes in anger.

A “single-agent”

This work stoppage follows an accident on Wednesday night: a TER linking Charleville-Mézières to Reims hit an exceptional road convoy stuck on a level crossing in Saint-Pierre-sur-Vence (Ardennes). The prefecture of the Ardennes indicates that there were “eleven wounded”, some of whom were hospitalized.

Drivers and controllers have asserted their right of withdrawal as early as Thursday and even more so on Friday morning, at the service take. The driver, injured and shocked, “had to rescue the passengers because it was the only SNCF agent on board! “, Lamented in a SUD-Rail statement.

This union, as well as the CGT-Cheminots, FO-Cheminots and the Fgaac-CFDT, dispute the operating mode “equipment agent alone”, which allows running trains without a controller, evoking risks of safety for travellers, whereas according to the direction “it exists since tens of years”.

“A strike outside the legal framework”

For his part, the Secretary of State for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari lamented a “surprise strike (…) outside the legal framework”.

“The right of withdrawal, it is a right of workers to say: ‘attention is happening something serious'”, defended the general secretary of the CGT Philippe Martinez. “We avoided a tragedy because there is a conscientious driver, attached to the rail public service, who worked. But we can not go on like this, “he said.

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