SNCF strike disrupts TGV Sud-Est traffic for Christmas holidays departures

The negotiations to save the departures on Christmas holidays this weekend failed Wednesday at the SNCF for the TGV Sud-Est: the management foresees a “very degraded” traffic from Friday to Sunday, taking into account a call to strike. Only one in two TGV Sud-Est will even be in circulation this Friday. The management “regrets that the negotiations carried out for several days” with the SUD-Rail, CGT-Cheminots and Unsa railway unions “have not made it possible to avoid the social movement at this stage” and “remains listening”, she announced.

This strike on “the TGV South-East axis is a blow to the reputation of all railway workers with the French”, declared Christophe Fanichet , CEO of SNCF Voyageurs, who also described the continuation of the strike as “scandalous”. The management claims to have “responded positively to the demands formulated by the trade unions”, which “choose to maintain” their strike notice. “This is not true,” protested to AFP Érik Meyer, one of the federal secretaries of SUD-Rail.

“We are speaking out against”, the company “did not respond positively to all of our requests” and, “without notifying our organization, it decides to break off the discussions”, protested Mr. Meyer. “We’ve spent two days there, day and night, making proposals to the club” with a view to reaching “a compromise” and “it seemed to us that we were on the right track”, he said. he says. “We do not understand.”

The traffic for Saturday and Sunday known later

The traffic forecast for Saturday and Sunday, the two other days covered by this call to strike on the TGV South-East axis, will be published later, when the number of strikers is known. On the TGV Atlantique axis, also affected by a strike notice, traffic will be “almost normal” Friday, according to Christophe Fanichet. The railway Ansa announced for its part on Wednesday evening to AFP that it had decided to “get out of the strike” of the TGV South-East axis, after having received the “statement of the conclusions of the negotiations” where it has “obtained satisfaction.”

Wednesday morning, the CEO of the SNCF group, Jean-Pierre Farandou, had nevertheless seemed optimistic about a lifting of the call to strike. “Discussions are continuing. (…) We were not very far from a compromise yesterday (Tuesday) evening,” he had reported to the Club of the economy of the newspaper Le Monde. “This strike, if it happened, (…) would come at a very bad time”, with the Christmas holidays and the arrival of competition from the high-speed trains of Trenitalia at the Gare de Lyon on Saturday, in Paris, he lamented.

The management has made progress and “I hope that the (…) unions will understand this need for compromise, but it is not won, it is not is not done, “he stressed, speaking of a” little hope “. Same hope in the government, the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, saying on RMC that he hoped for a lifting of the call to strike “at the end of the morning” on Wednesday.

“Multitude of notice”

At the beginning of the week, the SNCF network was already riddled with strikes: Monday on the TGV North, in Normandy, line H in the Paris region and the dispatchers of Nouvelle-Aquitaine; Monday and Tuesday on the TER of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region; Tuesday in the Pays de la Loire. Other notices have been submitted for the controllers and station agents of the TGV Sud-Ouest, the controllers of Occitanie or the TER of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

Taking into account “the multitude local strike notice “, negotiations are being conducted in different bodies, told AFP Didier Mathis, secretary general of Unsa railway. “Some appeals are closed, but not all,” said Meyer. Regarding the strike calls launched in Île-de-France for Thursday and Friday, the situation is “a bit at a standstill”, according to Mr. Mathis. There is “no negotiation in progress”, regretted Mr. Meyer. Several lines in Île-de-France are thus targeted by calls to strike.

According to published forecasts Tuesday evening by the SNCF, the traffic of the RER C, D, E and line R will be “strongly disturbed”, while train traffic will be “very disturbed” on lines N and U, or “disturbed” on the RER B and lines H and P. Last week, strikes had already affected the traffic of several regional lines in Ile-de-France. The strike is also gaining on-board catering, provided by the Newrest company, whose employees are called on strike “from Thursday” by the CGT and SUD-Rail, in particular to obtain wage increases.

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