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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #302 - RATP: First three lessons from a historic strike (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]
Fri, 14 Feb 2020 08:04:38 +0200
For the RATP management, everything failed: the minimum service measures ; the division of personnel into different statutes ; the
recruitment of " young people from the neighborhoods " as bus drivers hoping they would be more docile ... In the end, the class struggle
resumed its rights. A new militant generation is called to hatch at the management. ---- After forty days of an ultra-majority renewable
strike, the decline in the rate of strikers has forced some GAs to vote for " highlights ", with intermittent work stoppages. The success
of the day on January 24 validates this strategy, with incredible strike rates: 65% on the Pleyel bus depot for example. But already,
several positive lessons can be drawn from this movement which will serve as a historic marker, a founding experience for an entire generation.
Lesson number 1: The " minimum service " law can do nothing against the will of workers.
" Now, in France, when there is a strike, no one notices it ": It was Sarkozy in July 2008. Eleven years without a majority transverse
strike at the RATP seemed to have proved him right: the obligation for agents the exploitation of declaring themselves strikers 48 hours
before a conflict made many say that " we would never see real strikes at the RATP again ". It missed.
Lesson number 2: the cohabitation of different statuses does not however make solidarity and collective action impossible.
It should be noted that agents hired before the age of 35 benefit from the status of RATP staff and the special pension plan. However, those
who were hired ·'re after 1 st January 2009 are penalized by a discount of 5 % per year if they ask their early retirement. Finally,
agents hired after the age of 35 are not statutory: they have a private law contract. These unfair differences in treatment made many say
that these three groups would never fight together. Still missed.
Pleyel bus depot: united in the fight
Lesson number 3: recently hired bus drivers are politicized or combative.
From 2005, the DRAT of the RATP bus department launched a three-year recruitment plan of 3,000 drivers (so - called " machinists-receivers
") to compensate for retirements, but also to respond to the development of transport . She then set her sights on the " young people of
the neighborhoods ", imagining herself doing good business. First, it could give itself the image of a non-racist business, by driving
agents from visible minorities. The latter, she imagined, would consider themselves so privileged to have been recruited that they and they
would never dare to claim or fight (ah ah). Then she ended the " RATP dynasties When the fathers had their sons hired and at the same time
passed on to them the culture of social conflict and the balance of power. By breaking this tradition, the bus HRD thought to put an end to
the conflict. Finally, persuaded to be dealing with more docile and less politicized agents, she gradually reorganized the bus department
(grouping of units, abolition of 240 regulatory posts, etc.) to gain productivity , in " competitiveness ". So far, the bet seemed to have
won. Once again, it failed.
These first three lessons will be usefully pondered by the trade unionists of struggle: the RATP is no longer a sleeping beauty, the
conflict is there ; it can feed the revival of an offensive militancy, to win the next fights.
Alexis (UCL Saint-Denis), January 25, 2020
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