"When we announced our method and our objective, we said that a certain number of things are non-negotiable. We are going to open the railway's sector to competition. We are going to transform the organization of the company. We are going to put an end to hiring with special status. These are the decisions that have been taken," Philippe told the France Inter broadcaster.
Under the current rules, a person should be younger than 30, have a clean criminal record and successfully complete a one-year training program in order to be granted special status by the SNCF upon hiring.
In February, Philippe announced that the future employees of the state-owned SNCF railway company, which currently monopolizes the sector, would no longer be able to claim the special status of a railway worker, which gives access to some perks, including early retirement or immunity from layoffs for economic reasons.
The trade unions are planning to continue the strike intermittently until June 28, unless the government makes concessions.