Railway workers and officials converged on the street against government reforms

Demonstration of railway workers in June 2014 (Photo Fred DUFOUR. AFP)

A traffic SNCF “very disturbed”, cancelled flights, closed schools, civil servants and railway workers lead Thursday a first charge against the reform plans of the government for a quality public service and defense of their status.

These common issues are in addition to the own claims. Seven unions (out of nine) of the public service employed (CGT, FO, FSU, CFTC, Solidaires, FA-FP, and CFE-CGC), the first to call for this day of strike, are claiming an increase in their purchasing power. The railwaymen, who have chosen the same day to pass by, and defend them the future of the rail.

Their “common struggle for the general interest” will result in Paris by reunion place de la Bastille, where converge two processions: one of the workers, starting from the gare de l’est, and one of the officials at the start of Bercy.

In the regions, the public sector unions provide for approximately 180 events and gatherings. Railway workers will swell the ranks.

To defend the “public service” of rail, a dozen parties of the left – of EELV to the NPA through the PCF, and in France disobedient – will parade alongside the railway. But also Florian Philippot (ex-FN).

In the Face of what constitutes a first test in a wide-ranging social, the government shows its “very strong commitment to continue the transformation” of France. “Our concern is to ensure that dialogue and consultation are always there,” insisted the spokesman Benjamin Griveaux, the topic of the SNCF.

As for the officials, discussions are planned until the end of October, has been recalled by the secretary of State for public Service Olivier Dussopt, reiterating its willingness to be “tuned” of trade unions and the government’s commitment to a public service “quality”.

– The ‘warning shot’ –

This is the second time since the arrival of Emmanuel Macron as the public officials are rallying, after the 10 October, where hundreds of thousands of them broke the pad against the announced suppression of 120,000 jobs, the restoration of the day of deficiency and the wage freeze.

Since then, Édouard Philippe has unveiled a reform bill that provides for an increased use of contract agents (non-statutory) and voluntary redundancy schemes, which raises fears of the unions with a public service “fragmented” and “outsourced”.

“We are now at a turning point for the public service, with strategic measures” which “would have serious consequences,” warned Bernadette Groison (FSU) in the name of the intersyndicale.

Side railroaders, the anger is strong in the face of the willingness of the government to reform the SNCF, by orders, by transforming it into a limited company, or abandoning the status of railway workers in hiring.

Even before the strike, scheduled between early April and late June, the traffic SNCF will already be “very disturbed” Thursday with two TGV on five outstanding, a TER on two, a Transilien on three, an Intercité on four, three international trains on four.

The event in Paris is “a warning shot” and “all the evidence suggests that from the 3 April, this will be strong also”, warned Roger Dillenseger (Unsa). By strike massively on Thursday, the railway workers denounced “the will of the minister (of Transport Elizabeth Terminal) refuse to real negotiations and switch to strength”, according to Erik Meyer (SOUTH).

For its part, the call for strike action in the public service will result in disruptions in the air traffic, with 30% of flights canceled at departure and arrival airports of Roissy, Orly and Beauvais. The air traffic controllers are demanding higher staffing levels.

In the nursery and primary schools, a teacher on the four will be on strike on average, according to the SNUipp-FSU (1st union), with significant differences according to the departments (20% in the Dordogne, close to 55% in Seine-Saint-Denis). In the second degree, the teachers are not required to declare in advance.

Among the other sectors that could be affected are the nurseries, the examination of driving licences, libraries or garbage collection, in Paris.

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