Interview with a striking lorry driver

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Webdoc
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Interview with a striking lorry driver

Post by Webdoc » Tue 26 Sep 2017 13:50

"We also have an exception when it comes to retirement. We don't retire five years early, we have a five-year paid holiday before retirement. And that's been overturned, but why should we lose this benefit?"

Difficult to argue with that logic!

https://www.connexionfrance.com/French- ... rry-driver

dsd
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Post by dsd » Tue 26 Sep 2017 19:37

The reason the SNCF workers got great conditions (further on in the article), as told to me by one of them, (I do know another man for whom this was the case and he spent 2 years in Dachau), is that they were very active in the Resistance, and also very organised concerning unions.
One of my neighbours retired from the SNCF at 55, I think, and has free train travel for the rest of his life. They think that's normal and don't want to give it up either.
Another neighbour was a motorbike cop. So, he was part of the Gendarmerie, which is part of the army, which means retirement at 50. This was supposed to compensate for soldiers who had fought wars, rather than motorbike cops with their new motorbike every 3 years and their heated handlebars, even in Céret!
None of these groups want to give up rights won in the past, when conditions were better but get very upset when Macron says in a speech that the French don't like reforms! :D

Webdoc
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Post by Webdoc » Tue 26 Sep 2017 20:01

dsd wrote:The reason the SNCF workers got great conditions (further on in the article), as told to me by one of them, (I do know another man for whom this was the case and he spent 2 years in Dachau), is that they were very active in the Resistance
I thought EVERYONE was with the Resistance - but who drove the trains to Dachau then? (Not trying to stir up a hornet's nest but it had to be said.)

I believe the special conditions for train drivers was because they had to shovel tons of coal in very hot conditions, and often got Miner's Lung from the coal dust. That risk is somewhat reduced now they're in air-conditioned cabs operating a computer.

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Wed 27 Sep 2017 12:47

Webdoc wrote:
I thought EVERYONE was with the Resistance - but who drove the trains to Dachau then? (Not trying to stir up a hornet's nest but it had to be said.)
"had to be said" is a large claim from those of us who weren't there. It's surprisingly hard to find details on the internet of exactly how it was done. But the only indication I can find says that SNCF drivers took the trains to the French border and then handed them over. They must have known that bad things were going to happen (and the SNCF have since paid compensation for that), but it is well short of making them complicit in the Holocaust. Let alone willingly complicit. Working under Nazi occupation didn't leave much scope for heroic public gestures.

Your other point - that the cheminots' "acquis" largely reflects the very demanding work they used to do - is entirely convincing. But it must also be true that their union, the CGT, enjoyed prestige and public support from their role in the Resistance (and still do).

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