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