Barthélémy Philippe 11:31 a.m., February 20, 2024

After the controllers, the SNCF switchers want to make their dissatisfaction heard. The Sud-Rail union has filed a strike notice for the weekend of February 24 and 25. Among the demands: an increase in certain bonuses as well as better end-of-career arrangements.

Another difficult weekend ahead for SNCF travelers. After the controllers, it is the turn of the signalmen, just as essential to the movement of trains, to make their discontent heard. A strike notice was filed by the Sud-Rail union, in the middle of the winter holidays, from Friday February 23 at 11 a.m. to the next day, 11 p.m.


 Last day of strike at SNCF, threat over the following weekend

Increase in premiums

The company currently employs 8,000 switchers. Their mission: to control train routes and ensure the regularity of traffic, from a signal box. Work that is carried out in shifts, often at night and on weekends. Sometimes difficult hours, but compensated by a work bonus, for which Sud-Rail is demanding an increase: "We demand that this bonus be 300 euros monthly and that it be liquidated, that is to say taken taken into account for retirement, while today, it is 60 euros per month", explains Julien Troccaz, federal secretary of the union, at the microphone of Europe 1. 

Other bonuses are added to the basic salary of 1,700 euros net at the start of their career, and a little more than 2,000 euros, excluding bonuses, for a more experienced agent. No need for studies however since two months of training are enough, the SNCF hiring around a third of its workforce at baccalaureate level.

“We take on the strike”

Advantage of this job: retirement. Agents hired before 2020 can therefore leave between the ages of 57 and 59. But for others, retirement at 64 will come into effect next year, underlining another point of the strike: Sud-Rail wants end-of-career arrangements. 

To convince management, the union is ready to interfere with French people's holidays: "We accept it, it's not something that makes us happy but we can see that we are putting much more pressure on management than when there are moments that are a little calmer", declares Julien Troccaz. For its part, the group believes it has met the expectations of the unions, with a bonus of 400 euros for all railway workers and 1,100 new hires soon.