The radical CGT trade union has called for strikes on French railways starting on February 2, when scheduled talks are due to begin with the management of SNCF. The date chosen for the industrial action marks the start of the winter holidays in France and so far there is no indication how long the strike will last.
The CGT is particularly aggrieved by the freezing of employee numbers and the loss of 25,000 jobs on the railways over the last ten years. The union is also indignant about working conditions and the “massive” sub-contracting of work. Another point of contention is the payment of salaries according to a formula that counts the number of days worked, rather than the actual number of hours.
CEO Guillaume Pepy, who recently visited Monaco to discuss concerns over the quality of the local train service, has admitted that SNCF will show a profit for 2016, despite a series of strikes in June and a lower number of foreign tourists