a strike for wages on the eve of the summer holidays

Once again, many travelers will ask themselves the question of the merits of a social movement at the SNCF while the French will go in crowds to the stations for the summer departures.

Three of the four representative unions of the railway company (CGT railway workers, SUD-rail, CFDT railway workers) have filed a strike notice for Wednesday July 6. More precisely from July 5 at 7 p.m. to July 7 at 8 a.m. The Unsa railway will decide on June 28. Something to worry vacationers who were planning to leave this Wednesday, even if any disruptions will only be known 48 hours before the start of the movement.

Why Wednesday, July 6? ” The unions did not choose this date because it was a day when travelers could be most inconvenienced “says Thomas Cavel, secretary general of the CFDT railway workers, recalling that the real big departures will take place the following days, July 6 being the day before the end of the school year.

“It turns out that it was the management that set a round table on wages for this date, whereas all the unions had sent arequest for immediate consultation”​​​​​​on the question of salaries to the president of the SNCF. »

Wage freeze?

It is indeed the question of remuneration which is at the origin of the movement. In their unitary press release, the three unions claim that there has been no general increase in wages since 2014. In other words, the index point which determines the salary grids has not been reviewed since 8 years.

On the other hand, many railway workers have individually benefited from increases linked to an advancement provided for by the statute according to their seniority, or to promotions decided by their managers.

“Since 2014, every year at the time of the mandatory annual wage negotiations, we were told that the economic situation prevented a general revaluation”explains Thomas Cavel, adding that the management only agreed to modulate a few bonuses upwards… For the inter-union, this absence of an increase in the index point is no longer tenable while“Like all employees, in France and in Europe, railway workers are hard hit by the explosion of inflation. »

Major efforts according to management

According to a source close to the management, the efforts were however important this year in spite of an unfavorable context for the company with in particular an exceptional bonus of purchasing power of 600 € for employees earning less than 1.5 times the minimum wage and €300 for those between 1.5 and 3 times the minimum wage or an increase of €220 on an annual basis of the work bonus. In addition, a new level for advancement based on seniority will be created by 2024.

According to the 2020 SNCF social report, the average gross monthly remuneration of train drivers is around €3,600. But the remuneration of rolling personnel includes a fixed and a variable depending on the activities (timetables, journeys made, days off, etc.), a variable which the unions point out that they are not taken into account in the calculation of their pensions.

Multiplication of strike movements

The SNCF is agitated, in addition to this strike of July 6 by various strike movements, in particular in Île-de-France with a traffic disturbed by works which involve last minute changes in the schedules of the drivers, denounced by the unions.

Jean-Pierre Farandou, CEO of the railway company, recognizes a ” hard time “, particularly in the Paris region for users and drivers. He claimed that discussions with the social partners were “engaged” with “all options” on the table.

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