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French rail strike: unions lift their New Year’s weekend strike notice

This means there should be no action taken next weekend, but this weekend’s strike will still continue 

French rail unions have lifted their strike notice for next weekend Pic: Leonid Andronov / Shutterstock

French rail unions have lifted the strike notice they had issued for the weekend of New Year’s Day (December 31-January 1), after accepting a proposal on pay and working conditions put forward by SNCF management last night (December 22).

SNCF has said that its offer contains “strong measures” for a “real recognition of the ticket inspector profession”. 

The national rail operator has now said that: “Everything has now come together to enable all ticket inspectors to come back to work.” 

Read more: France rail strikes: unions have until midday to respond to SNCF offer

However, this agreement does not change anything for this Christmas weekend, when another strike is causing widespread cancellations. 

Today (December 23), one in three trains are cancelled on average, while on Saturday and Sunday it will be two in five.

Read more: France rail strikes: Two in five TGV trains cancelled this weekend

Compensation claim form launched 

SNCF has previously said that anyone whose train is cancelled because of the strike, or who has to change their journey plans because of the disruption, will be entitled to compensation equating to 200% of the original cost of their ticket. 

Read more: French Christmas rail strikes: 200% ticket refunds for cancellations

This is in addition to a full refund if your train is cancelled between today and December 26, or a free exchange if you decide to swap to a different service.

The compensation will take the form of a voucher, and claims can be made online on this page

The above link will take you to a private chat function to which you can explain your situation. You can fill in the reason for your compensation request, the date of your booked journey and whether your original ticket has been cancelled or exchanged.

The chatbot will then send you to the claim form, which can also be accessed directly here.

You can also send an email to the customer service department, but the “processing time will be lengthened” because of the strike.

SNCF has said that people whose Ouigo service has been cancelled should receive compensation automatically to the email address they entered to receive their ticket. 

Why is the strike happening?

Ticket inspectors are protesting against their current pay and career progression. A strike notice was issued by the CGT and SUD-Rail unions for December 23-26 and December 30-January 2. 

The CFDT and Unsa unions did not issue a strike notice. CGT and SUD-Rail did not actively call on their members to strike, but until now did not retract their notices, leaving it up to workers whether they choose to take action or not.

The possibility of a strike emerged from a Facebook group uniting 3,500 of France’s 10,000 ticket inspectors, called le Collectif ACST.

SNCF had already proposed a ‘prime de travail’ bonus of €600 per year, as well as an additional €600 gross bonus before the strike began. Its offer was accepted by the CFDT and Unsa unions, and was the reason why CGT and SUD-Rail did not actively call their members to strike.

SNCF bosses met with union leaders over video call last night, and proposed “strong supplementary measures in recognition of the ticket inspector profession, the creation of new positions and more career progression”. 

Related articles 

Air France promises that all flights will run tomorrow despite strike

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