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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #279 - Trade unionism: Lynchage for an internship (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sat, 10 Feb 2018 09:49:24 +0200

The controversy launched around the trade union training course of SUD-Education 93, relayed from the fachosphere to Minister Blanquer, shows us the road that remains to be traveled for the trade unions to fully grasp the fight against racial discrimination. and clarify their anti-racist strategies. ---- An excerpt from the blog " To those who struggle and resist " held by Theo Roumier on Mediapart. ---- Almost all of the National Assembly rises to applaud a minister who has announced wanting to lodge a complaint against a union, SUD-Education 93, which is wrong to denounce a " state racism ". It is both new and very serious. ---- In a symptomatic reversal of extreme right-wing strategies, the very clearly antiracist course of SUD Education 93 became for some ... a " racist " course that had to be denounced or that needed to be distinguished ! In spite of that, support has been shown, particularly by trade unions and unions.[...]What did not go without internal exchanges, sometimes tense, reflecting the tensions unfortunately very real when one questions the articulation between antiracism and syndicalism.

School, a " republican sanctuary " ?

The anti-racist struggle is, however, a trade union issue that must be fully addressed. In a sort of proletarian declension of republican universalism, some people think they can settle the question with an affirmation of principle: " Before being black, Arab, Asian or white, we are all workers ."[...]It is indeed to take back what was advanced against the union SOUTH Education 93: no, the school, " republican sanctuary ", can not be a place of discrimination, and therefore it is not it. Move along, nothing to see. It is ultimately, in the name of an antiracism that is somewhat magical thinking, erase the reality of racism today. To affirm that one is equal and equal would suffice to make it " true ".

Yet - and even if this does not prevent us from constantly recalling the common interests of the exploited - if we consider that discriminations divide us then we must fight them explicitly and for that a prerequisite is to recognize them and to name them.

There is no shortage of examples of the existence of a racism that is not only of the order of private remarks.[...]In the tribune " Trade unionists, we will march on March 19 ", published on the occasion of the March for Justice and Dignity, he was rightly reminded that " if the discriminations are not reduced to social domination, they are articulated to this one to reinforce it. Social and anti-racist fights, far from being antagonistic, must feed each other. " This is precisely where we must go.

This means first of all privileging the self-organization of the first targets of racism, supporting the affirmation of an autonomous antiracist movement to which the trade union and political organizations do not have to take the place, even if they can stand beside it. .[...]This is one of the preconditions for the emergence of an " antiracist and social front ", supported by concrete mobilizations, as imagined by the trade unionists who signed the 19 March tribune and who could also be found in the call and then the forums " Let's take the initiative ".

This being the case, as long as one is in favor of the autonomy of the social and trade union movement (including in its political sense), it also implies that the trade unions double this approach by developing their own questions and anti-racist strategies. Especially since we do not start from nothing. From the fight against the abusive withdrawal of badges in the air sector to that for the rights of West Indian, Guyanese and Reunion workers in the PTT, as well as strikes and support for undocumented workers ... can not say that trade unionism is sluggish. And that's good.

Tools for collective action

We must also continue to produce anti-racist speeches and arguments aimed at employees, such as here to denounce the fantasy of the " great replacement ", and to make room for the horrors that almost every day Eric Zemmour and Alain Finkielkraut assumes.

But it is still possible to go further, and for that to take into account structural aspects of racism at work. It is known that with an identical CV, the mention or the index of an " origin " other than European (or deemed such), will make the application will be less considered in many companies, which established several campaigns of testing. In addition, some discrimination in the division of labor may be obvious. Remains that the difficulties to establish statistics called " ethnic "Prevent them from being fully measured as if they were crossed to other factors. While it would be useful in many workplaces, facing the employer and management, to help union teams build anti-racism strategies.

[...]How else, for example, can we determine whether racial discrimination creates long-term and systemic wage gaps, as is the case for women ? If we have managed to find the tools needed to highlight gender inequalities, even within our organizations, why not also mobilize them to fight against racial mischief and discrimination ? This question arises for the non-mixed, we saw it with the stage of SUD Education 93, and raises debates which one should not be afraid to lead.

Also because being unionized is not a " status " that miraculously spares representations present in society, even if we would like it to be the case. It is not necessarily a question of " tracing " what has been done about gender issues, and made it possible to advance on this subject (even if there is still much to be done), but it would be a great pity to to deprive oneself of the experiences of the feminist movement. The challenge remains, whatever the case may be, to put in place the most relevant mobilization tools to create collective action and fight against discrimination. Simply because unionism can not stay out of the fight for equality, all the struggles for equality.

Théo Roumier (unionist SUD, Orléans)

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