Almost 95% of French SNCF Rail Employees Reportedly Vote Against Company Reform

Almost 95% of French SNCF Rail Employees Reportedly Vote Against Company Reform
AFP 2018 / Lionel BONAVENTUREEurope16:24 23.05.2018(updated 16:25 23.05.2018) Get short URL

PARIS (Sputnik) – The French government’s reforms of state-owned railway operator SNCF was rejected by 94.97 percent of the company’s employees who had participated in a non-binding vote on the reform, Franceinfo news outlet reported on Wednesday.

According to the media, which cited Laurent Brun, the secretary-general of the CGT-Cheminots trade union, that 91,000 railroad workers had participated in the vote, organized by the major trade unions of the SNCF. This number stands for almost 62 percent of the company’s workers.

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The management of SNCF, however, said that the vote of railroaders had no legal value, adding that its results would be treated as a “petition.”

Wednesday marks the first day of the eleventh episode of the strike by railroaders, who have been protesting against SNCF reform since the beginning of April. The railway workers plan to strike until the end of June, reporting for duty every two days in three.

The action has incurred losses of some 20 million euros ($23 million) per strike day, since the majority of trains have either been canceled or delayed.

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The reform, which had caused a standoff between the trade unions and the government and wreaked traffic problems across the country, aims to open the railway market for competition and put an end to the special status of railroaders that gives railway workers the right for some benefits, including early retirement. Trade unions largely oppose this measure saying it could deteriorate the railroaders’ working conditions.