a strike call on July 6 for an urgent wage increase

Three SNCF unions, the CGT Cheminots, SUD-Rail and the CFDT Cheminots launched, on Friday June 24, a strike call for Wednesday July 6, the day before the school holidays, and the day of a round table planned with the management of the state-owned company. Like many French employees mobilized in France in recent weeks, they are demanding a general and urgent increase in wages to cope with inflation, which could reach 5.9% over one year in June, according to new forecasts from the Insee.

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“At the SNCF, there has been no general increase in wages since 2014 and, when we ask for mandatory annual negotiations [NAO], we are told to wait until the end of the year. But it is urgent, employees need measures now! », believes Cédric Robert, federal secretary of the CGT Cheminots. The UNSA will decide on Tuesday June 28, after an exceptional federal council, if it joins the movement.

The unions have challenged the management on wages, on several occasions, in recent months, while the minimum wage, indexed to inflation, increased, automatically. At 1er May, it gained 5.9% over one year. “And that has not been transposed at all on the SNCF salary grid! Today, the lower levels are overtaken by the minimum wage! », deplores Eric Meyer, federal secretary of SUD-Rail, who takes the example of a beginner switchman: “When he is recruited, he has four months of training, and very important legal and operational responsibilities, because the slightest mistake can cost lives. And it starts at 1,350 euros, 50 euros per month more than the minimum wage! Don’t be surprised to have recruitment difficulties! »

“7% below the minimum wage”

On June 16, the CGT, the UNSA, SUD-Rail and the CFDT united to send a “request for immediate consultation” to management, a sort of procedure “social alarm” to avoid a conflict. “Instead of receiving us, all together, within three days, as required by the regulations, the management received us bilaterally, then sent us back to this round table on July 6, of which we do not know what they will put on Table ! », explains Cedric Robert.

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On the management side, if we recall that categorical measures (low salaries, certain professions) to increase salaries have already been taken, we recognize that there is a “purchasing power subject”in particular among railway workers with status (110,000 out of 140,000 people). “Entry salaries are very low, now some are 7% below the minimum wage, for constrained jobs, 3 × 8, night work, weekend work”, explains a good connoisseur of the file. “With inflation at more than 5%, we will not be able to content ourselves with waiting for the NAO at the end of the year and a revaluation in January 2023”, says someone close to management.

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