He who ensured before shortly before taking office wanting to renew the dialogue in a company shaken by protest movements has his work cut out for him. Jean Castex, former Prime Minister and newly appointed head of the RATP failed to convince the unions this Friday morning. While he received them at the headquarters of the Paris transport authority, scuffles with the police broke out, while demonstrators were gathered in front of the building.
Jean Castex was to receive this Friday, during bilateral meetings, “all the representative trade union organizations”, that is to say the CGT, FO, Unsa and the CFE-CGC, according to the RATP. “As Jean Castex announced upon taking office, social dialogue is one of his priorities,” insisted management to AFP.
Unions already upwind
On several images transmitted by unions to AFP, demonstrators try to force a cordon of police near the Gare de Lyon, on the sidewalk in front of the headquarters of the RATP. The security forces then respond with several blows of truncheons and use tear gas. A hundred demonstrators were present, according to an AFP journalist present on the spot.
The FO union condemned via a press release “firmly the police violence which was launched against our colleagues”. “Mr. Castex must quickly understand that Macron methods have no place in our company”, writes the second union of the Régie, number one among metro drivers. FO denounces a strategy intended to “create fear to prevent us from demonstrating and, in the long term, deny us this right to better impose social setbacks”.
Unsa-RATP refused to go and meet Jean Castex as was initially planned. “While our new CEO boasted in the media this week about preparing to restore a calm social climate… funny start”, the union is surprised in its press release.