SNCF: rail unions call for strikes starting April 3

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Charles-P 27 Jun 2018
at 17:31
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

  • AMcWhirter
    Participant

    If travelling by train within France from next month onwards be aware that industrial action may affect services.

    According to Le Monde the French rail unions are calling for strkes “two out of five days”over three months in protest at Macron’s plans to reform SNCF.

    http://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2018/03/15/reforme-de-la-sncf-l-intersyndicale-appelle-a-faire-greve-deux-jours-sur-cinq-a-compter-du-3-avril_5271668_3234.html


    StephenLondon
    Participant

    Will this hinder Eurostar services, and will it be 100% shut-down, or will some trains run?


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Oh dear, once again more inconvenience for the travelling public. It will be interesting to see how this pans out and just how tough Macron will be. I wonder if he’ll cave in as so many prior Presidents have?


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Also just seen the strike coincides with the start of the London – Amsterdam Eurostar service.
    If the train drivers are British or Belgian, perhaps it won’t be affected, but I don’t know.


    Alex McWhirter
    Participant

    The French govt has now offered to write off 3/4 of SNCF’s debts to the tune of Euros 35 billion.

    But the rail unions say their rolling strikes will continue until end June.

    https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/services/transport-logistique/delestee-du-poids-de-la-dette-une-sncf-viable-va-naitre-pepy-779729.html


    capetonianm
    Participant

    The French government, if it’s worthy of such a name, is being very generous with taxpayers’ money. Shades of SAA here who have written off billions of rand of debt.


    openfly
    Participant

    Easy answer….avoid France, stay at home!


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Am in Paris, running a workshop.

    Of 6 delegates, 4 have withdrawn due to either flight or rail cancellations. My client is not best pleased.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    A lot of people, myself included, would love to ‘avoid’ France, but it’s often not possible given its size and geographical location.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Just to add to the fun, today, someone invented a new way of stopping a tram an disrupted tramway T2.

    https://www.bfmtv.com/societe/accident-de-tramway-une-rame-percute-un-poteau-porte-de-versailles-1457638.html


    capetonianm
    Participant

    “Nothing to worry about mate, it’ll buff out nicely. Come out as good as new, that will.”

    Meanwhile the driver will be given early retirement on 200% of his salary, and no doubt Brexit, or Donald Trump, will be blamed for the accident.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Ugly scenes at SNCF’s Paris HQ yesterday.

    Striking railway workers invaded SNCF’s head office and later demonstrated on the roof with banners and flares.

    Thank goodness we don’t see this in the UK.

    The rolling strikes still continue.

    https://lexpansion.lexpress.fr/actualite-economique/des-cheminots-envahissent-le-siege-de-la-sncf_2014507.html


    Alex McWhirter
    Participant

    There have been three months of rolling strikes which were supposed to conclude on June 28.

    But it’s reported by the Independent that some rail unions plan to continue their strike action into July.

    I am posting this information because we are now running into the holiday season and I know that some of you will be taking vacations in France.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/france-rail-strikes-latest-summer-holidays-july-august-sncf-industrial-action-a8419251.html


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I was possibly lucky yesterday, I travelled across France from BCN on the SNCF/RENFE train that ops MAD-PAR. It was on time, and ‘pas de greve’ and it’s a very pleasant journey as it crosses the Camargue and runs along the coast before heading inland where it picks up the high speed line.

    As I may have commented before, you can’t get a proper meal on French long distance trains, which is odd since they are a nation that pride themselves (justifiably or not is another matter!) on their ‘cuisine’ and rail services. They have a buffet counter where you can buy a small variety of drinks, chips, sandwiches, chocolates, and sometimes pre-packed salads. In trains in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Switzerland you can get a good meal served at your seat or in a dining car on a few trains. Compared to that, the SNCF catering is a disgrace.

    I am not sure how many trains in the UK still serve a cooked breakfast at the seat but about 4 years ago I travelled from Inverness to London on a morning train and enjoyed a proper cooked breakfast on a table as we cruised through the Highlands. In Spain last year I took a train from Santander to Madrid and had a decent hot ‘airline’ type meal at my seat, included in the fare.

    A lot of the older TGV stock is showing its age, a bit like BA’s 747s, with tatty seating, grimy windows, worn carpets and doors that don’t close properly between coaches. Yesterday both trains I used were packed, maybe because of the impending strike, and I have to conclude that they have First Class and Worst Class. Also insufficient space for luggage. The price differential is often so small that F is as crowded and smelly as Worst.


    Charles-P
    Participant

    Speaking as someone who lives part of his life in France I can tell you the level of support for the strikes among the French population is nowhere near what is was some years ago. Macron has got a lot of backing for his reforms plans and for the first time the Trade Unions are very much on the back foot. Even the Le Monde is not offering its usual support and the widely watched L’Émission politique TV show has been running a series pointing out what a sweet deal a lot of state employees have and how inefficient SNCF is compared to other European railway operators including massive overmanning in nearly all areas. SNCF currently has around Euro 45 billion in debt, employees, many of whom retire of full pensions at 50 or 55 that have jobs for life and many travel perks.
    Ordinary French people agree that reform is long overdue.

    The decision by (the partially SNCF owned) Eurostar to replace some of their French Alstom built trains with German built Siemens trains was a massive shock in France

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