Meet the trade unions : it is the wish of the Prime minister. Edouard Philippe has invited all unions of the SNCF and their leaders confederal to bilateral meetings on may 7, at Matignon on reform in the rail, in a letter which he has addressed on Tuesday, and of which AFP has obtained a copy. On the 10th day of a strike disrupting even highly the traffic of the trains, the Prime minister, who confirms the gradual recovery of the debt of the SNCF by the State as of January 1, 2020, emphasizes that “this will require an additional effort of the taxpayers”.
“This pact, the national railway is a massive undertaking for the country, I will propose to each of the confederations to meet me with the Transport minister and your union delegations may 7,” writes the Prime minister. “I hope that these meetings take place in respect of consultations continued between-time within the company, the branch and the branch with the minister of Transport. I will be raising also on may 7, the leaders of the SNCF, the representatives of the branch railway, as well as those of users and of the chargers,” he continued. All these meetings will be bilateral meetings, said the prime minister’s office to the AFP.
“An extra effort from the taxpayers”
In this same e-mail, Edouard Philippe also confirms the gradual recovery of the debt by the State from 1 January 2020, as announced on 12 April the president and Emmanuel Macron, but stressed that it “will require an extra effort from the taxpayers, who are already making each year several billion euros to the financing of the railway system”, in order to “cover its operating costs and to invest in its maintenance and in its development”.
“I see the mark of the attachment of the whole Nation, the public service railway,” noted the Prime minister. The letter is a response to one sent by the intersyndicale to the minister of Transport, Elizabeth Terminal, last week.
“A real provocation”
In this missive, the railway unions explained that he felt the announcements of the proposed subsidiarization of the freight activity, then the stop date of recruitment to the status of a railroader January 1, 2020, as “a real provocation”. “On these two subjects, it was determined that discussions should be carried out before the decisions are announced,” they wrote Elizabeth Terminal.
The unions of the SNCF gather on Tuesday, the tenth day of a strike that disrupts strongly the traffic, to discuss the strategy to adopt in the face of a government’s inflexible. The rate of strikers amounted to 17,87% in mid-day, depending on the group rail. It is hardly more than Monday, the day the movement had registered its lowest rate. Nevertheless, the mobilization of agents essential to the movement of trains remains high: 63.4% of drivers, 53.3% of the controllers and 26.3% of the switchers.