Train strikes in France: SNCF to pay for days off

Court rules dispute is made up of 18 individual 48-hour strikes

SNCF has been ordered to pay workers for any scheduled days off that fell on strike days during the current dispute.

The tribunal de grande instance de Bobigny ruled that the ongoing protest against planned SNCF reforms, which has seen staff walk out for two days out of every five, should be treated as 18 separate strikes, rather than the single strike lawyers for the rail operator had argued.

The court said that individual notices to strike were issued for every one of the 18 two-day walkouts, meaning that each one should be considered an individual 48-hour strike. Under SNCF rules, workers' pay cannot be docked for any scheduled days off that fall on a strike day in walkouts lasting 48 hours or less.

SNCF has said it will appeal against the ruling, but has pledged to pay workers any money owed for days off pending the final decision.

The rail operator had argued that because the dates of all the two-day strikes were known in advance, and that - in each case - the unions had said the reason for the strikes was to protest against planned reforms, that the walkouts were all part of one, single movement

They also pointed to the fact that union bosses regularly referred to a movement in "sequences".

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