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Rail strike set for May 26

Railworkers across France will strike on May 26 in protest at the ‘breaking up’ of the SNCF and for higher salaries.

RAILWORKERS unions have called a national strike on Tuesday May 26.

A spokesman for one of the unions, Unsa, said a declaration of intention to strike had been made to the SNCF management. It was now up to the branches around France to decide whether they would take part or not.

A minimum rail service would nonetheless be running on the day, he said.

The spokesman said: “We do not lightly call on our members to strike, but there is a strong dissatisfaction among railworkers at the moment.

“We have several different concerns, one of them is discontent about the way the SNCF is trying to restructure itself, with the different activities becoming independent, such as freight and the grandes lignes (national passenger services), the local RER services and the Transilien in the Paris area.

“They are breaking things up into different branches which we think is pulling the company apart. We want it to retain its unity.”

He added the unions were also calling for negotiation on raised salaries.

Following the strike action on May 26 the rail unions – CGT, Unsa, CFDT and Sud-Rail – will take part in a “big day of demonstrations” on Saturday June 13, being organised by all the main French unions as a follow-up to those on January 29, March 19 and May 1.

These demonstrations are in the broader context of discontent at the government and bosses’ handling of the economic crisis.

Photo: Sebastien Terfloth

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