why railway workers are striking despite a general wage increase

They join the general mobilization. Railway workers responding to the call of the CGT and SUD-Rail went on strike on Tuesday, the day of an interprofessional movement. As at TotalEnergies, the unions are demanding salary increases, and yet on July 6, the management of the SNCF had already announced a general increase in remuneration.

After its very good results in the first half of 2022, management had granted a general increase of 1.4% of fixed salaries for all group staff. This first gesture was supplemented by an annual lump sum increase of 400 euros for everyone, with the exception of senior executives.

A largely insufficient gesture according to the unions

In total, employees therefore benefited from a 3 to 4% increase in their remuneration last July. But this gesture is considered largely insufficient by Fabien Dumas, federal secretary of the SUD-Rail union, who called on the railway workers to disengage on Tuesday. “There were a few wage measures this summer, but it didn’t even catch up with half of inflation, and we were coming out of eight years of wage freezes. So the anger is there”, castigates the union representative to from Europe 1.

To lift the strike pickets, SUD-Rail is demanding a net monthly increase of 400 euros for all group staff. Like the CGT, the union must decide this Tuesday, in a general meeting, whether or not to renew its strike movement. With for users, the threat of traffic disruptions during the All Saints holidays, which begin Friday, October 21.

The SNCF will not move before next January

For its part, the SNCF does not plan to advance the calendar of the mandatory annual negotiations, set for next January. However, the new purchasing power measures which will be announced on this occasion “could be retroactive to the fourth half of 2022 depending on the evolution of inflation”, according to the HRD of the SNCF, François NoguĂ©, who spoke on Monday.

The latter also indicated that the salaries of SNCF staff were increased by an average of 5.8% in 2022, “which corresponds to the inflation expected over the year”. A figure that takes into account the upgrades granted in January, then in July. According to the HRD, the public company has released an envelope of 500 million euros for this purpose, which corresponds to half of the net profit recorded by the group in the first half of 2022, i.e. 928 million euros.