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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #303 - Spotlight, Should it be made of (strike) cases ? (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 19 Mar 2020 08:35:14 +0200

Strike funds have become commonplace in social movements in recent years; some garner such support that they even make headlines. But are they as effective as they are popular ? ---- Strike funds provide effective solidarity for those who, by definition, cannot go on strike, such as retired or unemployed people. But it is a question of solidarity as of everything related to the strike: it is long before the movement, over time, that it is prepared and built. Wanting the general strike but only (re) discovering the professional links at the time of the strike is taking the means not to succeed. The same is true for strike funds: (re) asking the question of their existence, and of the amounts available, only when a movement arrives which is ineffective. Why? Because it is no longer time to collect the sums that would be necessary for a minimum of shared solidarity, accessible to all and all strikers.

Whether at local, regional or national level, whether professional or inter-professional structures, each union collective formed can acquire such a united tool. A part of the union dues of each member of the union is allocated to this fund. In France, the only organization that has such a fund for all of its members is the CFDT. For a full month of strike at the call of his union, a CFDT member would receive 1,107.16 euros. Of course, the example seems highly improbable today ; it was less so in the 1970s, 1980s, say until 1995.

The local strike fund is one of the ways to keep the strike alive on the ground, to ensure that the strikers take over their strike. In this, it is irreplaceable; but it does not solve much in relation to overall financial needs.

A symbolic obol
The establishment of a solidarity fund accessible to all assumes that it is sustained over time, regularly. The simplest, and the most politically just, is that a part of the contribution is allocated to this. Thus, each member of the trade union organization contributes according to his means, since the amount of the contribution is generally proportional to that of the salary; each member of the union organization benefits from the fund according to their needs, since it depends on their number of strike days. Over time, a large mass of money can be accumulated.

Wanting to create one or more strike funds with a national vocation, which is more inter-professional, at the moment when the strike starts or has started, is in reality propaganda, with no effect up to the stakes. An example: let's take only SNCF and RATP staff, considering that we have 10% of strikers (that's not much!). To be able to offer them 200 euros (only!) After an entire month of strike, you need around 4 million euros.Are we planning for the future or are we waiting for the next time to rediscover the problem ?

Christian (UCL Banlieue Sud-Est)

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