Galley weekend to be expected. Two strike notices running from December 23 to 26 and then from December 30 to January 2, 2023 were filed in early December by CGT and SUD-Rail, two of the four representative unions of the SNCF. However, these two organizations did not call a strike. The social movement that is disrupting this week of celebrations is initiated by the ASCT Collective (Agent du service commercial trains), a non-union organization which brings together nearly 3,500 of the 10,000 SNCF controllers.
These controllers, who had already gone on strike the first weekend of December (60% TGV and Intercités cancelled), are demanding better pay and improved working conditions from their management. Negotiations have not yet led to an agreement between this group and the transport company. Without a sufficient number of skippers, many TGVs have already been canceled this Wednesday. 20 Minutes takes stock of this social movement when around 200,000 of the 800,000 travelers expected this weekend may not be able to board a train.
How many trains will run this weekend?
Only two out of three trains will run on this first holiday weekend, which is also Christmas. Cancellations almost mainly concern TGVs. On Friday, two out of three TGVs should run on the Atlantic and Mediterranean axes, one out of two trains on the North axis (the Paris-Lille shuttle will be almost normal) and three out of four East TGVs. A TGV in two province-provinces will circulate, according to a statement published by SNCF on Tuesday. Three out of four Ouigo should also be able to leave.
Saturday and Sunday, there will undoubtedly be a little more cancellations than Friday, warned the SNCF, without having yet confirmed the figures. On website company, weekend cancellation rates are much higher than Friday.
Half of the 20 TGV Paris-Rennes are displayed canceled on Saturday, while 13 of the 22 TGV Paris-Bordeaux will not leave on Sunday December 25. The Intercités network generally spared by this social movement.
It should be noted that the director of TGV-Intercités, Alain Krakovitch, said this Wednesday on BFM TV that all the children who were to be cared for by the SNCF Junior & Cie service could be transported. In total, a special train running from north to south will transport “at least 450 children” to their families for the Christmas weekend.
How will travelers be notified of cancellations?
The SNCF began, Tuesday morning, to send SMS and e-mails concerning the maintenance or not of the trains to travelers “Having a reservation and having left their contact details”. Free exchanges are offered to customers in all trains “where there is space”. Problem: most of the trains maintained are already full several days before departure, even if the SCNF, which advises travelers who have the possibility to advance their departure, ensures that 120,000 tickets are still available this Wednesday and tomorrow, Thursday.
As a reminder, an employee must announce himself as a striker at least forty-eight hours before the start of a possible movement, which in principle leaves time for the SNCF to warn travelers upstream, so that they can exchange their tickets. , get reimbursed, or look for an alternative solution (carpooling, bus, plane, etc.). “We invite you to consult the circulation of trains the day before your trip from 5 p.m. on sncf.com or your usual channels”, specifies the company all the same on its site.
In what form is the “200% reimbursement” promised by the SNCF carried out?
This Wednesday morning, at the microphone of France Info, the CEO of the SNCF, Christophe Fanichet, announced a reimbursement of the price of the ticket up to 200% for travelers affected by the strike, while presenting “the company’s apologies “. “Customers always have the choice between exchange and refund. Either there is an exchange free of charge and at no additional cost, or they request the reimbursement of their ticket, which will be reimbursed at 200%”, detailed Christophe Fanichet this morning.
In practice, customers will not be refunded double the ticket price in the form of money. The compensation takes place in two parts, as noted The Parisian : a cash refund of the entire initial ticket, then a voucher for “100% of the price of the ticket”, valid for a period of one year. This measure also concerns people who decide not to exchange their canceled ticket for another train available on the same route, at a different time.
“In addition to the full refund of your canceled ticket, you will also receive a voucher for 100% of the ticket price”, actually replied the SNCF on Twitter this Wednesday to a user who asked for clarification.
For travelers who requested their reimbursement before this announcement, do not panic: the compensation is retroactive. In the case of booking a round trip, if one of the two trains is cancelled, it will be necessary to wait “for the return to be made” before being able to request a refund. Another important clarification: to benefit from the reimbursement, “customers must request it before the departure of the train”, specifies the company on Twitter.
Finally, contacted by franceinfo, the SNCF clarified this afternoon that the exchange of tickets is “free and at no additional cost”, which means that there is no differential to pay “on the same journey”. The procedure is detailed, hereon the SNCF website… which indicates that for paper tickets, it is best to go to the station or call 36 35.
The protest movement could continue over the New Year weekend.