Jean-Pierre Farandou did not wait for the 1st November, official date of taking office at the head of the SNCF, to take the temperature of the social climate of the organization in turmoil. For several days already the successor of Guillaume Pepy multiplies the trips back and forth between the Paris headquarters of Keolis which he is the president and that of the railway company in Saint-Denis.
To make the transition, he has surrounded himself with a small team of family members, executives he has worked with during his career in the public group for thirty-eight years. Among them: Christophe Fanichet, former director of communication who manages the 574Invest innovation fund, Laurent Trevisani, deputy managing director, in charge of the group's financial trajectory, Stéphane Volant, general secretary who served as a relay to the elected at the beginning of October, and Céline Sibert, director general of safety. The latter's mission is to prepare the teams for the December 5 strike against the pension reform. and the defense of the special regime of railwaymen. A conflict that may be heavy: South Rail and Unsa have called for an extendible strike. The CGT will give its position after its national council of 7 and 8 November.
An explosive social terrain
The priority of the new boss of the SNCF is to clear the social terrain which has clearly increased in recent days. Above all, the unprecedented nature of the latest movements worries the management: in a week, the company has experienced a right of withdrawal due to the collision between a TER and a convoy at a crossing in the Ardennes and a strike without notice . About 200 railway workers in the Chatillon maintenance center block the introduction of the TGV Atlantique, one of SNCF's main traffic routes. Tuesday, October 29, only one train out of three circulated and the situation does not announce better Wednesday. “It's unheard of since 1988,” said Didier Mathis, secretary general of the railway Unsa, union organizations are struggling to channel this movement while the company is on the brink of exhaustion.
At issue: the many reforms imposed on railway workers since 2014. “Few companies have experienced such a pace”, we admit internally while the 150,000 railway workers have seen success in the reform on the reorganization of work in 2016, then the rail reform in 2018 which transforms the public company into a public limited companyst next January and terminates the status for new hires.
These profound upheavals are worrying employees as it was the case at France Telecom or La Poste because they go through the transformation, outsourcing or the elimination of certain trades, such as counter clerks. The dissatisfaction of users last summer in the face of the long queues in the stations has also highlighted the difficulty for the company to always find the right cursor to adjust the workforce and make productivity efforts promised to the government. in exchange for the recovery of 35 billion (out of 50 billion) of public debt. For the past ten years, SNCF has been cutting nearly 2,000 jobs a year.
© All Rights ReservedLive my life as a railway worker at the SNCF: diving in the heart of an endangered status
If the unions, including Unsa and the CFDT, welcome the arrival of Jean-Pierre Farandou, considered a man of the seraglio, with satisfaction, however, they expect to see his actions before judging. “His priority will be to go on the field, and this from next week,” said a close to the new boss. The goal is to reconnect with the railway workers in charge of production, by going to see them in technicentres, workshops, switch stations … “In recent years, we have seen many red vests on the docks and in the stations, turned towards the customers We have a little forgotten the railwaymen and the intermediate bodies “, continues the frame of the SNCF. It now seems urgent to reverse the trend.