Why strike notices are multiplying in public transport at the start of the school year

To Paul in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, the cup is full for the 350 employees of the public transport network. The CGT of Stap listed their grievances: Degradation of working conditions”, “amplification of the lack of attractiveness for the profession of driver”, “very great difficulty in maintaining a sufficient workforce at the height of the public service”… The union has therefore just issued a strike notice as of Thursday 1er september.

Depreciated professions

Two days later, their counterparts in the agglomeration of Lille (North) should in turn enter the fight, at the call of the CGT, the CFDT and the CFTC. They too suffer from the same ills: low wages, deteriorated working conditions, chronic understaffing.

To Nantes (Loire-Atlantique), the CGT, SUD and FO have issued a social alert, a warning shot before a major mobilization of the workers of Semitan, if the management of this company operating the public transport network does not offer consistent during the negotiations on Monday on salary levels, working conditions and its disorganization, the workforce…

School transport is not alone in the mess. Behind the suitcase expression of “staff shortage”, it is all public transport that is cracking up. “For years the profession of driver has been depreciated. Previously, working every day of the week and at staggered hours was valued because there were compensations: salaries, bonuses, access to reserved accommodation… All that is over and fewer and fewer people are ready to work in these conditions. »describes Ronan Gilbert.

For the secretary of the CGT Semitan, the explanation is in three words: competition. “The regular renegotiations of public transport public service delegations have had the effect of compressing remuneration, the wage bill being the easiest element to affect in order to make ever cheaper offers to communities. »

A shortage of drivers

The winning companies of these tenders have a knack for finding shock savings. In Pau, a dual pay scale system means that new drivers are paid less than those already present. In Lille, it is the parody of annual negotiations on June wages and the small + 2.25% collective increase that arouse anger, especially since the contract that binds Keolis to the organizing authority of mobility ensures a flat-rate operating subsidy that takes inflation into account (currently at 7%). “The management does not even have to dip into its own funds so that our salaries are no longer reduced by the cost of living! indignant Mohamed Farhi, of CGT Ilévia, the company operating the network, owned by Keolis. This public money should go to the employees. What Keolis is doing is immoral. Policy makers can no longer turn a blind eye to the company’s social policy, which results in an absenteeism rate of 18%. »

Some public transport companies have elevated the patch break to an art. In Nantes, Semitan recovers two lines that a subcontractor can no longer hold, since it has transferred its drivers to strengthen the school transport offer. In Bordeaux (Gironde), Keolis is reducing the speed of TBM trams and buses to hide the shortage of drivers. And some companies are past masters in the employment of temporary workers in the event of a social struggle.

Why strike notices are multiplying in public transport at the start of the school year