Most French people against planned SNCF strike

The majority of French people believe that the major SNCF train strike planned for December 5 is “not justifiable”, a new poll has found.

1 November 2019
By Connexion journalist

Almost six in 10 (57%) people disagreed with the upcoming action, the survey by Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting for news sources FranceInfo and Le Figaro showed.

SNCF and RATP workers are planning a nationwide strike on December 5, with grievances concerning their “cheminot” status, and proposed pension reform. It is feared that the “severe strike” could cause havoc in the run up to Christmas and the holiday season.

Yet, support - or lack thereof - for the strike was dependent on respondents’ political leanings. More than seven in 10 supporters of far-left opposition party La France Insoumise were in favour of the action, along with 64% of supporters of the centre-left Socialist party.

In contrast, 87% of supporters of centrist ruling party La République en Marche were against the strike, along with 84% of supporters of the centre-right Les Républicains movement.

Overall, regardless of their political stance, more than three quarters of respondents were in favour of having a minimum service running during the strike action.

Similarly, 65% of people asked said that they believe that the disputed “cheminot” status of SNCF workers should go, believing that it is a privilege “with no place in today’s society”.

Cheminot” status conveys a number of benefits, such as the near-guarantee of a job for life, and special privileges when it comes to pensions, the ability to be fired by management, and other key issues.

However, SNCF workers did have the support of most French people on the issue of exercising their “droit de retrait (right to withhold service)” over alleged safety issues following an accident on a TER train on October 16.

Almost six in 10 (58%) said that this strike-of-sorts had been justified.

The poll, for FranceInfo and Le Figaro, was done online between the dates of October 30-31, from a representative sample of 1,005 French people, aged 18 and over.

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