For the second demonstration against the postponement of the legal retirement age to 64, the UNSA railway workers responded even more massively than for the first. “We chartered and filled thirty buses, ten more than for January 19”notes Olivier Armand, their spokesperson.
Already the reformist union, number two behind the CGT at the SNCF, sees further. The general secretary of UNSA-Ferroviaire, Didier Mathis, therefore wrote to Jean-Pierre Farandou, the CEO of the company, to ask him to organize “Basis of railway work”, a great reflection on the quality of life at work and on professions.
For the union leader, the mobilization of employees against the postponement of the retirement age is indicative of a malaise that must be analyzed without delay. “I was struck by how much the geography of the demonstrations of January 19, beyond the big cities, was modeled on that of “la France du travail”, that of the sub-prefectures and medium-sized industrial cities”writes Mr. Mathis, who deplores “A conflict in the reading of society by our elites and our leaders”. Some call for “work longer” when others are looking more and more for the meaning of “work value”.
“In the street, there are so many testimonies of people who doubt, with a desire to organize their active life differently, a feeling of doing hard work, but which does not fall within the criteria of hardship of the legislator”, worries the union. From “people who doubt” there are many railway workers. “These are signals that question us in our relationship to the effectiveness of social dialogue, to support for careers that will be longer and longer, to the hardship that will evolve exponentially after a certain age and, consequently, on the urgency of finding new forms of compensation. »
“The professions have disappeared from the language of the company”
As SUD-Rail had done, drawing lessons from the controllers’ strike in December 2022, UNSA-Ferroviaire also denounces the reduction in points of contact and levels of dialogue in the company since the CSE (committee social and economic) replaced both the works council and the CHSCT (health, safety and working conditions committee) at the start of Macron’s first five-year term.
The union also notes that the Observatory (in 1996) then the SNCF Trades Institute (in 2002) disappeared and that the “trades commissions” created in 2020 remained “empty shells”. Recognizing the specificity of a profession is important, as reminded by the controllers, who demanded the return of real business management. Gold, “Today, management only talks about ‘skills’. Professions have disappeared from the language of the company », regrets Mr. Mathis. For the UNSA, one of the ways that the SNCF could explore to give meaning to the professions of its agents and employees would be to become a “mission-driven company”as defined by the Pacte law, supported by Bruno Le Maire, among others, in 2019.
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