CEO promises ‘something’ for wages

SNCF CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou said Tuesday that vacation departures were “not threatened” despite a strike call on July 6 to influence wage negotiations, ensuring that railway workers would be increased. “Yes, there will be something, we are discussing it,” launched the boss of the SNCF on Public Senate.

“We are perfectly aware that, yes, railway workers, and in particular the lowest salaries, have difficulties given the increase in the cost of living,” he noted. “There is a need to see each other to deal urgently, indeed, with these hot topics of purchasing power”, he added, noting that it was “too early” to say what would be “the complement to add “to the annual increases already recorded, but overtaken by the rebound in inflation.

Call for a strike on the eve of the holidays

“We must satisfy legitimate social demands, and at the same time, maintain the major balances”, warned Jean-Pierre Farandou, who said he was “involved in these meetings” with the unions. “We put the subjects on the table, we try to build a balance, because increasing wages is one thing, but there is also an economic issue: it costs, and we must pay attention to the repercussion on the price of tickets for example. (…) It is necessary that at the end of the year, the company remains balanced so as not to cost the country”, he added.

The four representative unions of the SNCF -CGT, Unsa, SUD-Rail and CFDT-, called for a strike on July 6, the day before the summer holidays, to demand wage increases in the face of soaring inflation. “Perhaps it will not take place, this strike”, advanced Jean-Pierre Farandou. “We are going to discuss to try to avoid it”, he underlined, remarking that it should in any case last only one day.

The big departures “not threatened”

“The great departures are not threatened, and that is important”, he remarked, welcoming “the sense of responsibility of the unions (which) do not want to take the great departures hostage”. “We can reassure the French for the big departures during all the holidays, I think that there will be no social problems at the SNCF”, concluded Jean-Pierre Farandou.

The boss of the SNCF repeated that the public company should perhaps increase the price of tickets next year, to pass on the increase in the prices of the costs of electricity, raw materials and “maybe (… ) salaries”. “In 2022, we are not increasing. In 2023, we are wondering, we will see by the end of the year how our costs are changing. (…) The decision has not yet been made”, he indicated.

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