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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire - Youth Secretariat: What tools to improve our lives ? (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 31 Oct 2019 09:40:52 +0200

It's easy to criticize unions when you see the lifestyle of some of their leaders or the orientations of certain organizations ! But unionism is above all a collective strategy of struggle for our rights as employees or workers in training. Here are some past and current elements to understand unionism. ---- Where does it come from ? ---- During the XIX th century working class people are organizing to defend themselves to work towards their boss. Trade unions are beginning to appear, they are illegal, and it is through struggles that trade union rights and the right to strike are achieved. ---- There is a revolutionary union current that developed in France in the early XX th century with the CGT, it combines the defense of our immediate interests with a project of social transformation, the Revolution.

Other models exist and dominate historically. For example, that of co-management: the union supports the wishes of the bosses, to prevent it overflowing, which sometimes gives a few crumbs. Or unionism as a simple relay of what a party says, to the detriment of its autonomy to animate struggles and its development of another model of society.

Recently, strikes by hotel maids or undocumented migrants show that unions are still a reality.

What's the point ?
Defend the rights won by our elders, fight to win new ones, organize the discussion and solidarity between the workers: with unionism we have everything to gain.

Through collective organization, the blocking or the strike, unionism makes it possible to set up power relations in favor of the workers in order to obtain concrete progress. We only win what we take by the fight.

Without unions, no rights ! The state has understood this, and forbids young people in civic service to organize, even if they are exploited for a ridiculous remuneration.

Trade unionism also deals with the living conditions of workers, and can therefore stimulate feminist or ecological struggles in the workplace.

Revolutionary syndicalism can lead to a general political strike, and eventually to the reappropriation of economic power by the workers, thus finally putting into question the dictatorship of the big bosses and shareholders.

And on my place of study ?
The syndicalism of struggle is first to organize with other high school students, other students to defend themselves together.

This self-organization improves its study conditions. For example, fighting to enroll in university, to maintain a university restaurant, or to get better student housing, or against sexist and sexual violence.

Organizing is also giving oneself the collective means to build and animate a movement in one's place of study. In a self-management way, without a leader, to train in the fight a large part of the students or students.

Connecting with the employees who work there, as well as those in other sectors, is a decisive weapon to break the isolation and win common demands !

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