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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Octobre - SNCF: Fighting today, preparing for 2018 (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]
Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:28:21 +0200
In the first half of next year, a framework law will organize the privatization of TER and
intercity trains. By undermining railway status in passing, to make the business more
attractive for private companies. Should we wait until 2018 to mobilize ? No !
Mobilization against the XXL Labor Act can be a springboard. ---- In an interview given to
the house magazine of the SNCF, the Info Mag 1 st July Macron unveiled his future
offensive against what remains of the public railway service. Senators Hervé Maurey (IDU)
and Louis Nègre (LR) tabled at the same time an umpteenth 29-page bill aimed at
accelerating total privatization, which the technocrats call " opening up SNCF to
competition ". ---- Within the framework of the European texts requiring the opening of
TER and TETs (former Intercités) to competition from 3 December 2019 and the TGVs for
2020, equipment, stations and workshops will be able to move into the private sector. And
the SNCF employees, too, because if the latter loses a call for tenders, railway workers
working on the line, in the region or in the service concerned will be transferred to the
private operator. Of course private companies will enjoy attractive public subsidies !
When SNCF encourages road transport
This liberalization of passenger transport falls within the framework of the fourth "
railway package ", that is to say a batch of European Directives which have already
imposed, in 2006, the liberalization of freight transport. The result is disastrous:
traffic has declined steadily since opening up to the private sector. Road transport,
while much more polluting, is favored over rail. By acquiring Geodis, France's leading
road transport company, SNCF has even found the means, within itself, to bring cargo into
competition with the road. The consequences will be similar for the passenger transport,
the less profitable lines will disappear gradually. In the name of profitability and to
the detriment of the continuity and the accessibility of the public service.
The SNCF's debt is not ours
Along with the introduction of competition, several steps against the rights of railway
workers and railway workers are also considered: status, mobility, retirement plan,
traffic facilities ... And to justify the attack, the scam is simple: suggest to the
population that the SNCF's current debt is due to the railway social system and their
alleged " privileges " that would plumb the company. The State would graciously accept
the resumption of part of the debt, against an " effort " of the employees.
But the debt of the rail system is not that of the workers ! It is a state debt, a
consequence of the clientelist policy of the all-TGV and the delirious toll systems that
for twenty years force the SNCF to pay to circulate its trains on railways that it has
itself built ! Thus, SNCF-Réseau, which manages the tracks, invoices tolls to railway
undertakings, including SNCF-Mobilities !
If ticket prices increase, it is partly because the SNCF pays to circulate its trains on
the tracks of the national rail network ! In ten years, tolls have increased by almost 30%.
If the status is attacked it is mainly for ideological reasons. To break railway status is
further weaken the corporation, which is a major obstacle to privatization. The fewer
employees in the railway sector, the greater the ease and benefit to employers of their
transfer to private groups. The railway system, such as that of intermittent and
intermittent performances, represents an embarrassing counter model during the uberization
and precariousness of the wage-earning system.
Since the framework law is planned for the first half of 2018, it is now necessary to
prepare for a major confrontation.
With 30 per cent of the strikers on 12th September, railwaymen and railway workers showed
that they had not fallen into the trap of division or the temptation to " keep their
forces " for a battle peculiar to the SNCF.
Renewing the practice of general assemblies
The fight against XXL Labor Law is also theirs. An isolation from other sectors, so much
desired by the government, would cost us dearly in the future battle that is ahead.
Alas, for the 12th and the 21st of September, there were not even single calls to the
strike, not even inter-union roads to organize the action. More than ever, it is necessary
to return to the practice of general assemblies, as close as possible to each workplace,
so that each one can express, exchange and decide !
Faced with the lies of the government, the SNCF management and the media about our
so-called privileges, we will have to light up firebreaks. Convincing users and users that
openness to competition, they too will pay for it. The setting up of user groups against
liberalization could open a track. Their construction could be based on our local
It is time for the trade union federations to be more inclined to organize this necessary
momentum. Today against the Labor XXL law, tomorrow against the new railway law, it is
always the same class that struggles. It is up to us to work at its unity.
Libertarian railway workers and railwaymen
New measures against the right to strike
The SNCF management, too, is preparing for the confrontation in 2018 ... further reducing
the right to strike.
It had penetrated a first corner in 2004, obtaining the signature of all the union
federations, except SUD-Rail and FO, on a text aimed at " preventing social conflicts "
... Three years later, the law of 2007, whose anti-strike character has been reinforced
several times since.
The requirement to file individual declarations of intent (DII) has a deterrent effect. So
far 31,500 railwaymen and railway workers were bound by this declaration ; from 1 st
October, the management decided to submit almost 20 000 more from this rule.
This measure comes amid a constant and growing repression against trade unionists and,
more broadly, those who disturb. Repression that goes hand in hand with an aggressive
management that pushes colleagues, sometimes even suicide. To create bond, solidarity,
collective, is the only bulwark against the isolation and the distress that it provokes.
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