A strike at the SNCF (French National Railway Company) has been called for October 18th.
An inter-union grouping composed of CGT, SUD-rail, FO, CFTC and CFE-CGC has called the action in relation to government attempts to change their retirement circcumstances. The other two recognised rail unions are awaiting the Government offer.
Some 500,000 workers and 1.1M pensioners at the SNCF and in several other industries benefit from special retirement schemes and goverment proposals to 'harmonise' retirement policies look to attack these special conditions, rather than extend them to other workers.
Workers for the state Gas and electricity suppliers also benefit from the special schemes. Force Ouvriere's Mines-Energie section announced strike action last week over the retirement reforms and also at the proposed merger between the government-owned gas provider GDF and the private gas company Suez. The CGT's energy division announced yesterday that it would join these strikes.