The secretary general of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, assured Sunday that a halt to the transport strike before Christmas was possible "if the government withdraws its plan" of pension reform, "otherwise the strikers will decide what they have to do Thursday or Friday. "
"If the government withdraws its project and (that) we seriously discuss how to improve the system (...) and everything will be fine. Otherwise, the strikers will decide what they have to do Thursday or Friday", declared on BFMTV Mr. Martinez whose organization, majority in the SNCF, is at the forefront of mobilization since December 5.
Recalling that "the union members of the CGT also make Christmas with their children, with their families", he estimated that there were "not those who want to spoil the holidays against each other". "This is a serious matter, and I think that the government cannot always transfer the responsibility to those who react because they consider that the project is bad," said the union official again.
Martinez also said he received a phone call Thursday from Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. "He did not tell me that the door was open, he must have forgotten and he did not tell me that negotiations were resuming, he must have forgotten, too," he commented. "I was surprised, he didn't talk to me about bilateral talks," he said with irony, saying that no appointment had been made.
The head of government called the unions on Thursday and invited the CFDT in particular to a meeting "as soon as possible next week". Confirming this call Sunday, the head of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, did not wish to give a date.
It will be "difficult" to organize such a concertation before Tuesday, estimated the Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn Sunday, in reference to the day of strikes and demonstrations at the call of all the unions.
© 2019 AFP