Traffic looks more disrupted than expected in stations on December 24 and 25. Nearly 200,000 travelers saw their train canceled for this Christmas weekend, following a strike by controllers. There is no hope of seeing this movement recede, all eyes are now on January 1st.
On Wednesday December 21, 2022, the SNCF announced two out of five TGVs canceled instead of one out of three initially. The axes most affected are the Atlantic axis or the North axis with only one out of two TGVs. A situation which exasperated Christophe Fanichet, CEO of the SNCF, indicating that this “very special” period – Christmas – made this strike “unacceptable”.
Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called on “Jean-Pierre Farandou (CEO of SNCF, editor’s note) and the unions to find a solution in the coming hours to get out of this situation which exasperates a certain number of French people”. But no solution on the horizon. The SNCF hopes however, with the reinforcement of the railway workers “to transport three French people out of four” this weekend.
The CEO of SNCF said on RTL “sorry” for these disturbances. “The right to strike is indisputable, but the right to travel to see your family is sacred. I’m sorry, I apologize (…) I’ve seen strikes but not on the day of departure, it’s not normal . We don’t understand this strike, there is no strike call from any union. I can’t understand, there is no social aggression,” he said. detailed.
If Christmas seems compromised, all eyes are already on the New Year’s Eve weekend: “I appeal to the sense of responsibility of the TGV skippers on strike! It’s not too late for the weekend January 1, it is still possible to prevent the New Year’s Day weekend from being ruined, there is no reason to punish the French twice”, launched the CEO on RTL.
Clément Beaune, the Minister of Transport brushed aside the idea of requisitioning non-striking personnel: “We must not sell illusions”, the requisitions being “framed legally and even constitutionally”, he said. he says.
Travelers who have had their train canceled will be able to change their ticket without paying the difference, but most scheduled trains are full. On the other hand, on Wednesday, the SNCF promised to give a voucher equivalent to twice the sum of the canceled train ticket, in addition to the full refund of the ticket.
To benefit from it, you will have to fill out an online form available soon, only for travelers who have had their train canceled. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that this voucher will be available to you before Christmas.