Rail strike on TGV trains in France called off this weekend

Good news for passengers setting off on Toussaint breaks around Brittany, Pays-de-la-Loire, Centre-Val-de-Loire, Nouvelle-Aquitaine or Occitanie

28 October 2021

Strike action on TGV Atlantique trains has been called off this weekend Pic: DavidFM / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

Rail unions have called off strike action across western France this weekend following renewed negotiations with SNCF. 

This comes after strikes last weekend caused disruption to services up and down western France between October 22 and 24. 

Read more: TGV strike action to see third of trains cancelled in western France

This included trains travelling to and from Brittany, Pays-de-la-Loire, Centre-Val-de-Loire, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie, as well as Intercités services between Nantes and Bordeaux, Bordeaux and Marseille and Toulouse and Hendaye. 

The strike notice from CGT-Cheminots, SUD-Rail and CFDT-Cheminots had warned that services would be affected every weekend, from midday on Friday until midday on Monday, but for this weekend only the industrial action has been cancelled. 

This is good news for people who are hoping to go away for the second week of the Toussaint school holidays, which end on Monday, November 8. 

However, the strikes may well resume next week, with SUD-Rail representative Fabien Villedieu telling BFMTV that the union intends to continue the movement “every weekend until January” (unless negotiations with SNCF go well).

There could still be some disruption on TGV Inoui and Ouigo despite the strike cancellation.

Anyone whose train for this weekend has already been cancelled is entitled to a refund or exchange, at no additional cost. These passengers should have been contacted directly by SNCF.

Why are train staff striking? 

Rail unions are calling for better work conditions and pay rises for SNCF employees. Negotiations between the company’s management and its staff are underway, but have not yet reached a resolution. 

The unions state that SNCF workers are “still” required to work “longer days” than is normal, while average salaries are falling. They also claim that staff shortages are leading to holiday requests being refused and that SNCF is generally disorganised. 

Negotiations lasting late into Tuesday night and a consultation with employees on Wednesday caused the strike to be called off for this week, according to Erik Meyer, federal secretary of SUD-Rail. 

Mr Meyer told Sud Ouest that the latest negotiations were not “entirely satisfactory” but “all in all we are quite satisfied.”

As a result of the talks, SNCF has agreed to “improve the quality of the working day,” and to make hours “shorter and less arduous,” he added. 

Bonuses of €1,200 for drivers and €800 for other staff have also been promised in December. Further discussions on pay will take place on November 17 during the yearly négociations annuelles obligatoires

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