Retired rail worker in France not feeling privileged

Much has been made of cheminots’ privileges as the government targets railworkers and their pensions in reforms to transform the SNCF; but, as unions reply with strikes running throughout June, reader Gilles Carré a retired ticket inspector, says the reality is not so simple

Most cheminots are far from privileged, says retired ticket inspector Gilles Carré from Limoux, Occitanie.

President Macron wants to match future SNCF employees’ conditions to the private sector as he dislikes ‘special regimes’ ... but any advantages compensate for a difficult lifestyle says Mr Carré, who ended his career training other inspectors.

Retired cheminot Gilles Carré
Retired cheminot Gilles Carré

Mr Carré lived in Normandy then but worked on TGVs from Paris Montpar­nasse to destinations such as Toulouse, Brest or Nantes. He typically went to work in Paris every other day, regularly overnighting away from home in hotels or special hostels for cheminots.

“I worked shifts, which could start at any time of the day, it could just as easily be 5.30 or 22.00, a day train or night. As I was at the end of ...

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