French rail workers threaten strike action next week

French rail workers threaten strike action next week

French rail passengers will likely face disruption next week as ticket inspectors across the country have threatened to walk off the job from Friday 16 February to Sunday 18 February.

Unions representing ticket controllers employed by SNCF, France’s state-owned rail operator, have reactivated a collective dispute that began in December 2022 and are calling for a three-day strike to demand better pay and working conditions, according to local media reports.

The unions CGT-Cheminots, CFDT-Cheminots and Sud-Rail this week called for industrial action since, according to the unions, SNCF has not lived up to its previous promises.

In an effort to stop the strike, SNCF CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou on Thursday (8 February) promised to award a €400 bonus to all railway workers on 1 March, as well as increase residency allowances in certain geographic areas by between 30 per cent and 50 cent on 1 April, according to local news reports. 

The rail boss also reportedly announced 3,000 additional promotions with salary increases of between 2 per cent and 4 per cent and offered to recruit 1,000 permanent workers in addition to the 7,300 already planned for 2024.

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