SNCF: unions denounce a jump in disciplinary procedures after strikes

According to SUD-Rail, the third union of the railway group, disciplinary proceedings are increasing against active union activists and strikers. And the penalties are heavy.

“It’s a real witch hunt”: for Laurent Courtois, member of the federal office of SUD-Rail, the finding is clear. Disciplinary procedures are said to have multiplied against union activists and active strikers. Since mid-June 2016, they would be “a hundred” at SUD-Rail and “about 300” at the CGT to be subject to disciplinary proceedings. The SUD-Rail union affirms that the SNCF wants “to sanction those whose union action is opposed to their policy”.

Jean-Marc Hernandez, SUD-Rail delegate, affirms that “the sanctions have been stepped up” in the face of the behavior of the demonstrators who have remained unchanged. “We have always made roadblocks and used tires, but there have never been penalties like today,” he said. “We see that the penalties are more and more severe: now, we go directly to the appearance before a disciplinary council for” gross negligence “or” serious fault “, instead of receiving a reprimand or a warning.”

“We are no longer at all in a perspective of dialogue, but rather in repression. “

Laurent Courtois, federal office of SUD-Rail

Laurent Courtois specifies: “At the end of each conflict, we generally have a dialogue that begins with management. Since mid-June, we have been receiving direct requests for explanations and proposals for sanctions. We are no longer at all in a perspective of dialogue, but rather in repression. “

In addition, on September 27 in Amiens, a SUD-Rail activist appealed against his 6-month suspended sentence for the tire fire, and a € 67,000 fine (jointly and severally with three other defendants) for the damage. caused on the roadway. In Lille, five demonstrators received a suspended sentence for participating in a roadblock by burning tires, including a CGT activist. “The suspension and the fine is a first: in 2014, there were similar facts and no sentence had been pronounced”, underlines Jean-Marc Hernandez.

“Right of expression”

Alain Leclercq, staff representative in the North and elected to the group’s CCE, is summoned this Thursday to the disciplinary council for “serious misconduct”. SNCF allegedly accused him of having prevented non-strikers from going to work and of having described in front of a television camera the functioning of Socrates, the computer reservation system of the SNCF, during a blocking blockade organized in Lille. on June 6. He faces a four-day layoff and a “final warning”. “We are touching here on the right of expression of a union representative: it is an extremely heavy sanction”, comments Jean-Marc Hernandez.

SUD-Rail also denounces the biased nature of the disciplinary councils: these are generally made up of three senior SNCF executives, three union representatives and a regional president responsible for deciding in the event of disagreement with the two parties. “We are three against three, so the president is often called upon to decide. And we know very well in whose favor he decides, ”comments Laurent Courtois bitterly. Jean-Marc Hernandez adds: “It is rare that we are successful. We have important elements that are seldom taken into account. It weighs heavily on morale. ”

To support Alain Leclercq, SUD-Rail called for a rally today near Gare de l’Est in Paris. Contacted by Le Figaro, SNCF declined to comment.