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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #231 - CGT: A leftist union to build (fr) [machine translation]

Date Wed, 06 Nov 2013 13:37:49 +0200


For years, it was announced the breaking of the reformist CGT, sensitive in the majority confederal orientation. Yet, a majority of union CGT keeps combative practices. Inventory of anti-capitalist opposition within the CGT. ---- The confederation CGT congress of 50th March 2013 [ 1] was generally marked by the continued guidance of previous conferences : those of a trade union proposals and negotiations, mixed with some great days of strikes and demonstrations in support a union strategy based on social dialogue - between "social partners" responsible under the aegis of a welfare state. This observation is partly true if we pay attention only to statements of its leaders the most publicized and text conventions. Indeed, the concepts of "unionism together", "social democracy", "unionism membership", "unionism proposals and negotiations"... are designed and implemented on the ground in any other way by many CGT union.

And because a large minority sensitivities all together, from the base to the top, have a different approach, characterized by the primacy of the relationship of forces.
Between reformism and radicalism

The major problem, which still holds the conference in March 2013, is the inability to construct a coherent alternative to the preparatory texts orientation. This can be verified in contradictions voted at the end of the conference final texts. Yet it marks progress on many points. For example, when the SGC intends to open the debate on social ownership and therefore the legitimacy of private property. But you can read along in protest marks the CGT fights for business support by the various employee savings schemes of regional funds to promote sustainable employment. It oscillates between a timid anti-capitalist approach and an approach to regulating the market economy.

Yet, many more amendments "class struggle" still back in Congress. The thunderous applause to greet the hardest to interventions against PS / EELV government and MEDEF there show a radical demand of the trade unions. How to explain this discrepancy with the much more moderate interventions leading member of the national leadership? How to explain that during SCC [2] most of the departmental secretaries Unions stick to implementation of the reformist understanding guidance conference carried by most of the national leadership?

Remove obstacles to unity

There are several obstacles to the expression of an anti-capitalist alternative in CGT: many activists, whatever their level of responsibility, reluctant to lead the fight collectively, not wanting to be perceived as divisive es. But is not it a kind of reformist fraction that is in control of most of the key positions in the umbrella organization ? There is a real problem of collective expression and union democracy.

Another obstacle, which is the cause and effect, it is the refusal to harm the organization if the CGT tears internally, it can only weaken against the employers and other unions. While this may weaken for a time but letting the CGT in the muddy waters of reformism is definitely weakening.

Last obstacle: diversity, dispersion and bigotry of activists who clearly demonstrate their opposition to the current direction. These three factors are full as a foil for the majority of union CGT preferring warp somewhat genuinely reformist orientations.

It is essential that the anti-capitalist currents unite on common grounds and wide open, leaving aside their different ideological often related stories and various militant path ( FCP, the "Trotskyists" revolutionary unionists, "Maoist", libertarians... ) we must be able to understand beyond the differences in vocabulary, which often result in sterile discussions and oppositions then we mean the same thing.

What should heckle the various organized minorities is their ability to speak with one voice and with a language understood by all and all union members CGT references. This may involve a trade magazine, a website, by regional and national meetings, etc.. This question is not trivial and purely technical problems since it joined the union democracy.
Building a majority trade union left

But this unity of anti-capitalist union displayed may not be limited to being a rally against the national leadership. It only makes sense that in the desire to build in the struggles and the CGT alternative orientations and practices for all workers. For most of the CGT union leading the class struggle on a daily basis are not part of organized minorities [3], do not often know or look at them with suspicion.

However, if many CGT are secured es conventional designs reflecting the reformist social democratic party that division between structural reforms and union claims at the margin, the vast majority of union members are fighting back against the wall no overall perspective of their many battles. It is this ideological vacuum that reformism also wins. This is the assertion of an alternative to capitalism that is most potentially winnable given the contradictions of the period (economic crisis, political and ecological) and positive developments, though fragile, CGT (autonomy to against political parties, societal struggles integrated into the overall discussion, bargaining unit).
Ermon (AL Lorient)

[1] See " Unfinished Congress " in AL # 228 on May 2013et blog communisteslibertairescgt.over - blog.net

[2 ] National Committee confederation. It brings together secretaries UD and federations. This is the "parliament" of the CGT between congresses. In particular, it defines the protest marks.

[3] Trade Union Front of Class, Revolutionary Committees Unionists, Continue CGT, CGT Whither ?, Libertarian communist CGT today. Committee for CGT class struggle yesterday, under the leadership of Jean -Pierre Delannoy metallurgist whose nomination as secretary general of the CGT at the 49th Congress had crystallized the opposition.
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