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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Décembre - Rovers and dockers: Victories certainly ... but not on the ordinances (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 29 Dec 2017 09:27:18 +0200

In early October, road and road operators reportedly forced the government to back down on orders amending the Labor Code. What is it really ? Will not the past compromise be misleading ? ---- The context of the agreement between the employers and the representative trade union organizations in the road transport is based on two elements: the breaking of the Labor Code organized by the governmental orders on the one hand, a minimum of balance of forces favorable to the workers and women workers in the sector. ---- With several days of strikes, some filter dams and attempts to occupy, and despite a relative union disunity, truckers have obtained, with this agreement of October 4, the collective agreement continues, in their professional branch, to take precedence over agreements business. Commentators of the class struggle hastened to see it as a " betrayal " of the inter-professional movement. This sentence, besides having no interest when it comes from people who do not organize struggles, is out of step with the reality of this autumn 2017. When there is a strong inter-professional movement, organize its end in sector-by-sector or even business-to-business trader is a well-known, reprehensible tactic to fight.

But we were not in this situation in recent months. Therefore, it is not stupid that the workers of the few mobilized sectors try to extract sectoral gains.

But precisely, are the achievements announced really there ? Road and Road refused their premiums and their 13 th month can be reviewed on a company - that an order explicitly provide. Have they obtained that, on these subjects, their collective agreement continues to prevail ? Yes and no...

In 2016, the situation was closer to a general movement (SNCF, refineries, garbage ...), and it could interest the government to divide it by making concessions to a key sector such as road transport. Thus, while the Labor Act provides that a reduction in overtime pay may be imposed by company agreements, road and road workers have won that this is not the case in their industry.

This time it is not the same. In reality, there has been a sleight of hand, which may not be long overdone. The agreement provides that " compensatory elements for night work, holidays and Sundays will now be an integral part of the hierarchical minimum wages " ; likewise for the 13 thmonth. In other words, these bonuses disappear as such and will be included in the salary, the amounts of which continue to be fixed by the collective agreement. Thus, they can not effectively be challenged by company agreements. But that is the situation as of October 4, 2017 and not beyond. As soon as there is a question of discussing premiums again, even if they are provided for in the collective agreement, the orders will apply to road and road transport, and " bargaining " may be required on a company-by-company basis !

The " specificities " of ports and docks

How could it be otherwise from a strictly legal point of view ? With the September 2017 ordinances, the law provides, for a range of topics, to remove the mandatory superiority of the collective agreement from the company agreement. In this context, consensus-building " social partners " may well sign agreements in their sector providing that the convention remains applicable everywhere and for all subjects ... this will have no legal value. As soon as a boss decides not to do it, he can brandish the law, which stipulates the opposite !

The situation is different for the dockers: having a special status, the profession has been confirmed that " all the stipulations in force of the unified national collective agreement ports and handling relating to the employment contract retains its imperative character, given the specificities of the branch recognized by the law in 2008 and in 2015 ". There, we can really talk about non-enforcement, but this has been made possible by sector-specific legislation.

These agreements thus make it possible to limit the breakage in these two sectors, and it is not negligible in a period where the tendency is rather to the social defeats for our camp ; but they are by no means " major flaws " in the ordinance system as it may have been written too quickly ...

Christian (Paris South East suburbs)

Reminder on the hierarchy of standards
A priori, all professional sectors are potentially concerned by the calling into question of what is called the " hierarchy of norms ". Over XX th century, the Labor Code is built on the following principles:

* the Labor Code provided a set of standards, applicable in all companies and benefiting all employees ;

* a collective agreement (trade or industry) could not be less favorable to employees than the Labor Code ;

* a company agreement could not be less favorable to employees than the collective agreement. What was achieved through union struggles in large companies or during widespread strikes also benefited the employees of establishments, businesses and sectors where the balance of power was lower.

Starting in the 1980s, many left and right governments had already undermined this principle, but the so-called " principle of favor " remained . The Labor Act 2016 canceled it. For all that concerns the working time, it is company by company that it will be " negotiated ".

In fact, in many cases, where the number of union members does not create sufficient strength, the boss will impose his views by blackmail the job. The 2017 Labor Law, through the ordinances, considerably expands the field of subjects to " negotiate " company by company, without the collective agreement representing any floor.

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