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Empty stations and TGV canceled on third day of strike by SNCF controllers

The SNCF controllers’ strike continues on Sunday with 60% of TGVs and Intercités cancelled, depopulating the platforms at some stations, with fears that these disruptions will be repeated during the end-of-year celebrations. Just like the day before, 4 out of 10 TGVs and Intercités were in circulation on Sunday, an SNCF spokesman confirmed to AFP. At Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport station, the tracks dedicated to TGVs were deserted at the start of the day. The first train was announced for 13:36, followed by four others in the afternoon. Surrounded by his three suitcases, Marc Kufess expresses his annoyance: he arrived at 9.30 from Togo, only discovered on landing the existence of the strike and the cancellation of his 11:24 train to Mulhouse. A few steps away, the reception agent Wa Ismaël is slaloming between travelers who, in the absence of a train, head for the terminals to buy an RER ticket and go to Paris. “It turns everything upside down (…), but we try to do the best,” explains the agent. SNCF management announced on Friday that “new meetings” would take place next week with the unions and controllers – officially called captains – who in particular are demanding better recognition. The unions Unsa-Ferroviaire, SUD-Rail, CFDT-Cheminots and FO-Cheminots supported the move and filed a strike notice for the Christmas and New Year weekend to put pressure on the SNCF. “We will do our best to ensure that there is no strike this Christmas”, however, promised Nicolas Limon, one of the founders of the National Collective ASCT (CNA), which was launched in September on Facebook outside of any union framework. almost 3,000 members. He told AFP on Friday that “more than 80%” of controllers were on strike over the weekend, with a gradual recovery planned for Monday. – “Temperature taking” – At Lille Flandres station, a few rare people also waited on Sunday under the screens, which showed only a handful of announced TGVs. Anne Gravereaux and her husband have just arrived from Cannes to see their 93-year-old godfather in a nursing home. “We looked at all the possibilities: rent a car, carpool…”. They finally found this train, after a first stopover the day before in Paris: “a real hassle!”, she says. Faced with fears that this move will disrupt the celebrations of the end of the year, the transport minister’s delegate, Clément Beaune, called on Saturday for “collective responsibility”. “Let’s work in the next few days to avoid this (…) I will do everything at my level”, he assured. The almost 10,000 train conductors in the SNCF, of which almost 3,000 work on the TGV and Intercités, have a significant function in relation to traffic and passenger safety. Without them, the trains cannot run. In addition to pay issues, the controllers feel “mistreated” and demand better consideration as well as an improvement in their working conditions, explained Saturday at the RMC Fabien Villedieu, SUD Rail union representative. “It’s a strike that we didn’t see coming, neither us nor the unions,” SNCF chief executive Jean-Pierre Farandou acknowledged Thursday during a conference organized by Challenges magazine. After this weekend of “taking the temperature”, SUD Rail hopes that there will be concrete proposals during the negotiations next week, which say “believe in social dialogue”, especially as Christmas approaches. This mobilization also takes place before the start of the mandatory annual negotiations, which are due to begin on Wednesday at the level of the SNCF group. The CGT, SUD-Rail and CFDT called for a “unity strike” that day. cla-meh-tmn/uh/as

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