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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #257 (Jan) - Precarious: What struggles and what adaptations? (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 18 Feb 2016 12:56:16 +0200

The labor market is divided into two poles: on the one hand, "stable", or CDI officials, the other to the precarious livelihoods highly volatile and subject to the employer or administrative arbitrariness. They suffer not only the joint operation to all wage earners, but their very instability dual vulnerability. It is therefore necessary to organize a specific intervention in this area. ---- The precariousness can be defined as a socioeconomic position where access to resources (allowances, wages, income, housing, energy ...) is uncertain in time, that is to say capable of interruption at any time, and submitted the arbitrariness of authority, administrative (Pôle Emploi, CAF, etc.) or hierarchical (public or private employers). This uncertainty strike all of life deterioration friendly and family relations, stress mobility, degraded living standards and development of a life project hampered the medium and long term ...

Who is precarious?

This definition applies of course to the same condition of wage earners. But we are interested here in parts of the wage experiencing the highest level of uncertainty. Quantify precisely the uncertainty is complicated. However here are some data on the number of those affected. According to INSEE, just over 10% of wage earners would be precarious in France - Temporary or permanent - or about 2.5 million people. If we exceed that definition somewhat limited, there is much more precarious: obviously the unemployed fall into this category. They are so close to 5 million people in addition to the legion precarious. Nevertheless precariousness is not limited to these two categories, there are also recipients of RSA, a fraction of the student world, and many independent workers.

Thus, the auto-entrepreneur status, adopted by nearly a million workers and workers in France, is often a disguised wage labor ... without the rights that accompany it, such as the right to unemployment benefits (ARE ). Furthermore, it is common for people to move from one status to another: RSA to a CSD, then six months of unemployment before a return to the RSA box or when a new CSD, complicating the calculation. If we add these categories, it reached 10 million precarious, or not counted in the figures of the workforce.

Also, if insecurity affects all strata in theory of wage labor, in practice these are workers whose status is lowest are precarious. Thus it is the workers and the most affected women more than double the average precarious contracts, particularly through part-time work. Economic insecurity are "related" consequences: fuel poverty, access to care, housing, lack of mobility, social isolation ... So 3.5 million poorly housed in France and 700 000 homeless are necessarily also take into account.

The special economic problems of precarious are also reflected in their ability to fight collectively. Instability, fragmentation and frequent changes of position are that unionization is almost nonexistent. While in 2012, 9.4% of wage earners in CDI are union members, this rate falls to 2% for workers with fixed-term contracts, and less than 1% for the interim. As for unemployed workers, the numbers are so low that they are not quantifiable.

Four types of struggles

This precarious low union should question us about the possibilities of struggles. Less integrated in the collective work of their companies, the status of these wage earners makes them more vulnerable to anti-union repression: it is very easy not to renew a fixed-term or not rehire or a temporary one. Similarly, it is more complicated to organize face to institutions such as the employment center and Caf since the beneficiaries do not rub shoulders every day and have few ways to create solidarity.

It would be absurd to oppose stable workers and precarious workers: their interests are common. Nevertheless, the fight against insecurity requires a specific structure. We distinguish four types of fight each requiring different means.

First the struggles of precarious workers in their workplaces (CSD or interim). Often specific to their condition, they stated aim a tenure which often proves to be unstable. Here are the unions involved and sometimes precarious organized into specific groups (eg research). Then the struggles against social service providers - CAF, employment center, and CPAM Crous - where the organization is done on the basis of the condition. There are still national organizations such as the unemployed APEIS the MNCP, AC and CGT-Unemployed, mostly in decline, but also a multitude of collective and autonomous struggles are organizing locally .

These struggles must focus on living conditions: housing, health, etc. In France, where poor housing is particularly widespread, they are of particular importance. A multitude of groups involved on these issues until the DAL movement of squats, or group of inhabitants and inhabitants, under a variety of forms. Finally, the fight against insecurity involves recreating solidarity: soup kitchens, self-managed places, support groups and sharing, community organizing ... The list is long and the initiatives in this direction more and more numerous, particularly related to environmental issues , as in certain ZAD.

A commission for what?

Political organization Alternative Libertaire wonders about how to intervene in these struggles, for us essential.

It's time to raise awareness of the worsening insecurity, the urgency to invest and organize these struggles as appropriate to the social context. Neglecting this step or drown in a wider struggle for wage labor unions with the sole strategy for us would be a political mistake. Trade unionism is not the only case of branded unions, nor the only thing to do. While it is essential for precarious to organize immediately to stabilize their condition, it is also necessary to exceed the salary considerations only and include the fight against insecurity in a much broader revolutionary perspective: the need exceeded the value of work.

Precariousness Commission and direct solidarity with Alternative Libertaire

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