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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Décembre - Labor law XXL: Women in the viewfinder Macron orders (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 17 Dec 2017 08:44:36 +0200

Precarisation of increased working conditions, reduced access to occupational medicine and prevention bodies, invisibilisation of gender inequalities: the impact of Macron orders will be insidiously amplified for women workers. ---- While the government declares that equality between women and men will be " the great cause of the five-year period ", these announcement effects are far from being in line with reality. The measures follow each other, with an ever greater impact on the working conditions of women. However, at the beginning of September, the forum published on the Médiapart site on the initiative of feminist activists and various supporters points to the specific consequences of the orders against an already precarious female population. ---- Some numbers speak for themselves. Among female employees, women work part-time more often than men (30.4% versus 7.9%). Similarly, they are more subject to short contracts: 16% of them are hired on fixed-term contracts against 13.4% of men [1].

These statistics are not a surprise: every year, the same inequalities are highlighted. Given these realities, how can one envisage that the law XXL labor has positive consequences for the employees ?

Negotiating in the company at the expense of women
Even though the inversion of the hierarchy of standards has a devastating impact on all employees, it obviously has a very particular dimension for women. Indeed, with the questioning of branch agreements and collective agreements in favor of intra-company bargaining, the rights collectively won simply run the risk of being ignored. business negotiations, nothing can guarantee the maintenance of current rights, let alone the acquisition of new ones. Indeed, in most small businesses and SMEs, it is rare for a union to be able to exercise the balance of power necessary to maintain social gains. This is particularly evident in the tertiary sector, where the workforce is highly feminised (sales, commerce, services to the person ...). As a result, all employees are weakened, but especially women.

In practice, even if rights are enshrined in the law, such as the minimum statutory period of maternity leave, many more favorable provisions are included in collective agreements. Thus, an increase in this minimum leave period, or the arrangement of working time for pregnant women, can be eliminated by company agreement legally.

In the same way, the extension of work on Sundays impacts women's lives: they will bear the brunt of this measure because they are overrepresented in the sectors concerned. In commerce or sales, they may be forced to work extra days. In the case of single-parent families, Sunday work means organizing childcare on a non-working day, with no solution financially acceptable for people who do not have a friendly or family network.

Prevention and support: do it yourself !
In the services to the person, they will be able to lose the rights currently fixed by the collective agreements, in particular on the amount of the remunerations on Sunday. This sector is all the more vulnerable as it almost exclusively employs women on part-time contracts, often imposed, with cut-off hours and a large hourly scale. As these employees have little or no collective development space, how can we envisage a dynamic struggle or gathering against current and future destruction ?

The ordinances do not stop there: various bodies having a watchdog role concerning the issues specific to women will be cut off from part of their missions, even suppressed.

The Macron orders profoundly modify access to occupational medicine: initially, a visit was mandatory at the time of hiring. From now on, this visit will only be done if the employees ask for it. However, we already observe that of the percentage of people who have never been to occupational medicine, women are twice as numerous as men (2013). Similarly, among those who had a visit in the past year, whose overall trend is decreasing, the gap is more than 10% [2]. These figures clearly show that access to work-related prevention medicine is less developed for women, whereas many women are concerned by precarious contracts in high-difficulty jobs (supermarkets, agri-food, services, etc.). to the person...).

Occupational medicine, which, in connection with the CHSCT, made it possible to warn about certain situations such as harassment at work or the hardships, will have on the one hand more tools to carry out its missions, other share more relevant interlocutor. Indeed, one of the guidelines provided by the ordinances is to merge all the representative bodies of the personnel (IRP). However, by grouping the latter, the government removes the specificity of each, and creates a single body, bringing together fewer people, with a time and resources allocated always more limited. Under these conditions, it is clear that priority will not be given to the alert and prevention dimensions for women and to situations of harassment. The probability being that the future Social and Economic Committee (SSC) is confined, lack of means, to strictly economic issues. In addition, a provision of the Rebsamen law of 2015, was intended to institute parity in professional elections. Although no law will solve the structural problems of patriarchy, it is revealing that this provision has not even been mentioned in the new law.

This phenomenon of invisibilisation of inequalities at work is expressed to another extent: since 1983, employers can be punished if they do not provide the gender statistics related to their company. With reform, this comparative data is no longer mandatory.

(c) mdf Paris

Invisitization of inequalities at work

Beyond these orders, it is imperative to keep in mind that each new attack on the labor code has specific consequences on employees. In this context, it is all the more necessary to invest the existing areas of struggle and to create new ones. Thus, during the various mobilizations against the labor law, we can only regret the lack of echoes that have had women's warnings on these issues.

AL Lorient

[1] 2016 figures of INSEE.

[2] Investigation of the Dares " Working Conditions " ; No. 10, 2015.

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