The SNCF railway group has proposed a 4.6% salary increase on average for its employees in 2024, which includes a 1.8% general increase and a commitment to raising low wages so that none of them are below the minimum wage of 1.1 euros. Additionally, the company will pay out a value-sharing bonus of 400 euros to more than 140,000 railway workers.
Two major unions, CFDT-Cheminots and Unsa-Ferroviaire, have announced their intention to sign the agreement proposed by SNCF management. CFDT-Cheminots stated in a press release that after consulting with members and management structures, they are clear in their decision to sign the agreement. Similarly, Unsa-Ferroviaire said it would also sign the agreement. These reformist unions together represent 42.67% of the votes against 57.33% for CGT-Cheminots and SUD-Rail, who are opposed to the agreement.
However, other unions such as SUD-Rail have expressed their dissatisfaction with SNCF’s proposals and called for reopening negotiations. They argue that the proposed measures do not go far enough to address the accumulated salary dispute and therefore do not meet their demands. The CGT-Cheminots also described SNCF’s proposals as “indecent and contemptuous” in view of the ongoing salary disputes.
The deadline for signing the agreement is November 22 evening, but without a majority vote from all unions, SNCF cannot guarantee that all provisions will be implemented uniformly across all regions and departments within the company. Despite this lack of unity among unions last year, only CFDT-Cheminots signed on to agree with SNCF’s proposals on salaries for 2023, but despite this lack of majority support from all unions, SNCF still applied those planned measures.
In conclusion, while two major unions have indicated their intention to sign SNCF’s proposed agreement on salaries for 2024, there is still much debate among workers about whether these measures will truly address their concerns or if they are merely another attempt by management to divide and conquer them.
It remains to be seen whether these reformist unions will be able to convince other workers that this proposal is worth supporting or whether they will continue to fight against it along with other unions who oppose it altogether.
As always, we recommend keeping an eye on developments closely as we approach November 22th when union leaders must make a final decision on whether or not they will sign onto this proposal from SNCF management.