It is therefore towards a hard strike that the SNCF is heading from December 5th. This Friday, November 8, the CGT-Cheminots spoke in favor of a renewable movement, by period of 24 hours, thus joining the call already launched by Unsa and Sud Rail. “The National Council notes that the situation in the company SNCF is explosive,” said the governing body of the union who wants to expand the protest movement beyond the issue of pensions and the reform of the special regime of railway workers. “The balance of power can and must be greater than that of 2018,“which had failed to block rail reform, continues the union in its statement.
This decision is not really a surprise given the way the CGT is putting pressure on both the government and the management of the company. Last week, in the bus to Rungis where was organized a demonstration for the defense of the “train of the primeurs” between Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales) and the capital, Laurent Brun did not hide his anger against the executive: “Those who thought that the railroaders had no more juice after the strike of 2018 will be surprised, “warned the leader of the 40-year-old, ready to take revenge.
Unyielding, this son and grandson of a railway worker from Lyon, registered with the PC, has still not swallowed the railway reform and the adoption of the end of the hiring as a railway employee at the 1st January 2020 voted by Parliament last year. He denies, as the government accuses, wanting to take advantage of the current pension and special plans bill to anger the rail workers. In October, unprecedented walkouts, via a massive use of the right of withdrawal or without notice, in the TER and maintenance center of the TGV of the Atlantic axis, surprised everyone. And heightened the pressure within the company. Since then, the CGT has called for similar actions punctually in the eleven maintenance workshops of the TGV, but also in those of TER and freight. “As a warning shot”, justifies Laurent Brun.
“There is a deep malaise within the company, but that the government does not want to hear,” he insists, very against the executive while Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, the new secretary of State responsible for transport accuses it of being a “conservative” hostile to change. By November 22, the government has promised to submit proposals on the future pension plan for railway workers.
© All Rights ReservedHow Jean-Pierre Farandou wants to clear the grumbling of railway workers at the SNCF
But in the meantime, it's the dialogue of the deaf. For the leader of the first union of the company, “it is the privatization of the SNCF which is preparing.This government does not speak to us, but it may fart them in the face,” he threatens.
Will the dialogue be so explosive with Jean-Pierre Farandou, who succeeded Guillaume Pepy at the head of SNCF on 1st November? Laurent Brun met him in 2000 when he started as a driver at the Lyon-Perrache train station: “I was a young union delegate and he was the head of the Rhône-Alpes railway region. He was laughing at the time and he was a pragmatist who presented himself as a man on the left, close to the railwaymen, and we will see how he has evolved since his Keolis. ” The subsidiary of SNCF and the Caisse de dépôt du Québec is indeed the champion of competitiveness in urban transport.
“At the end of my rope”
Arrived in full social crisis, the new boss has promised to go on the ground, in the maintenance workshops, the points of referrals … meet the railwaymen. “By embarking on permanent restructuring, removing staff in stations, on trains, to reorganize the institutions, the guys are exhausted, observes the leader, and Farandou will have to listen to them, hear them and to provide solutions in terms of jobs, wages and the future of trades. ” While the opening of rail to competition is now a reality, railway workers are increasingly faced with the issue of outsourcing their jobs. “In Brittany, last year, railway workers were asked to train private sector employees to do their job the year after, no wonder they are on edge!” accuses Laurent Brun.
For the leader of the CGT-Cheminots, everything will depend on the room for maneuver of the new boss. But “they are likely to be limited by the road map of the government and the financial requirements of Bercy, he feared.On employment, investment, financing of small lines, if there is not a Loosing the financial trajectory, you can not settle anything. ” As for the continuation of December 5, “it would be necessary that the direction of the SNCF and the government make important concessions, considers the union leader As to postpone the suppression of the status of the railwaymen.” It would be a real victory for the man who promised his troops that he “would not be the one to bury the status”. But without really believing today.