Reform the SNCF: the CEO of Transdev wants the flexibility

The future competitors of SNCF fear that the government loose feathers in his battle against the railroaders. The CEO of Transdev, a potential competitor of the SNCF, when the rail passenger transport will be opened up to competition, has called for Tuesday, April 10, that the working conditions of the public group are not imposed on the sector to the outcome of the ongoing negotiations. “The goal is not to ensure that the status and the working conditions which exist at the SNCF are imposed on all new entrants, otherwise we do bougerons not,” said Thierry Mallet, who presented the annual results of the group to journalists.

“There’s no need today to straighten up the social model,” stressed the CEO of Transdev, who is also the chairman of the Union of public transport (UTP) is the professional organisation of the sector. “We can retain a number of key elements of the statute for the people who are being transferred (in the case where the SNCF would lose a contract), but it must at all costs allow a labor organization that is different from the one we have today if we want to create more versatility and more flexibility,” he argued.

“The compensation is not necessarily the crucial issue”

Among the elements that would be affected, he cited the continued payment of wages, guaranteed employment, that is to say, the guarantee not to be dismissed for economic reasons -, benefits such as ease of movement, access to the health system of the SNCF and the pension system. “For us, the pay is not necessarily the crucial issue. The crucial issue is to work in a different way”, allowing the same person to perform multiple tasks, has highlighted Thierry Mallet.

If you win a contract in the face of the SNCF, it intends to host the railwaymen “on a voluntary basis”. “We’re going to try to be attractive for them to want to come to us. And I am willing to pay more for as long as we have an organization of labor different,” he said. Some of the potential competitors of SNCF are concerned that the government does not impose too many constraints at the sector to relent in the ongoing negotiations with the railway unions. It is also necessary that the opening to competition is quite significant in the regions to attract the interest of alternative operators, was also noted Thierry Mallet. Transdev –subsidiary to 70% of the deposits and to 30% Veolia– already operates passenger trains in six countries.

(With AFP)

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