Pascal Prou, a rail worker who was forced to bury the remains of a colleague, reaches a settlement deal with the rail company SNCF. He will receive €45,000 in compensation.

"/> Pascal Prou, a rail worker who was forced to bury the remains of a colleague, reaches a settlement deal with the rail company SNCF. He will receive €45,000 in compensation.

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ACCIDENT

Rail worker forced to bury dead colleague’s remains

Pascal Prou, a rail worker who was forced to bury the remains of a colleague, reaches a settlement deal with the rail company SNCF. He will receive €45,000 in compensation.

Rail worker forced to bury dead colleague's remains

In 1997, one of Prou’s colleagues was run over by a fast train near the city of Angers in the east of France. While the employee’s body was recovered and given to the family of the victim, Prou and his colleagues found more remains belonging to the victim a couple of days later.

His boss ordered him to pick up the body parts, a task Prou refused to do. Later that day, Prou’s boss handed him a bag full of remains. 

“He ordered me to bury the remains in a wasteland, that’s when I went crazy,” Prou told French daily France Soir.

Prou says he suffered from depression for years after the event and tried to commit suicide twice. In 2010, the rail worker sued the rail company SNCF for breaking his labour contract. A French labour court has ruled in Prou’s favour and accepted the settlement agreement between the two parties.

According to France Soir, the widow of the victim says she “forgives” Prou for illegally burying her husband.

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RAIL

French union calls for national rail strike in July

The hardline CGT union has called for a national strike on the railways in July in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

French union calls for national rail strike in July
Photo: Denis Charlet/AFP

The union is calling on all members across the country to strike on Thursday, July 1st, saying: “For our salaries, our jobs, our rights, for a protected status for all railway workers – everyone on strike!”

However, the strike only involves a single union so is unlikely to cause widespread disruption of the type seen during the mass transport strikes of December 2019 and January 2020, in which all transport unions joined together to take action in protest over pension reforms.

Public sector workers in France are legally obliged to give 48 hours’ notice of their intention to strike, and SNCF usually publishes revised strike timetables 24 hours in advance of industrial action.

This strike targets SNCF, so could affect national train routes and the Paris RER suburban train service, but not the Paris Metro or bus routes, which are run by RATP.

Separately, airport workers are also calling for a strike in July in a dispute over contract renegotiatons.

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