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(en) France, UCL AL #318 - Unionism, City of Paris: we won't be working a minute longer! (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sun, 25 Jul 2021 09:22:52 +0300

One day it is the libraries, another the museums, another the nurseries or the school canteens... The strike, it must be all together if we want to block the increase in working time! But it is not easy to make the link between the 57,000 agents of the City. ---- For more than six months, the agents of the City of Paris have been fighting against the Law of transformation of the civil service, which implies in particular an increase in working time, to reach 1,607 hours per year. The mobilization began in November and continued until May by relying on a large inter-union, comprising all the representative unions except the CFDT. There was then a day of strike per month, on the occasion of the meetings of the Council of Paris, bringing together more and more colleagues.

But the bar of a really massive mobilization was not crossed, except in certain sectors, on specific dates. In any case, never all sectors at the same time. This date has impacted libraries, another museums, nurseries or school canteens. But making the link between the 57,000 agents of the different sectors hardly worried only the inner circle of activists. However, such a mobilization, in the duration as in the number, had not been seen in the City of Paris since 2011 and the negotiation of the JRTT agreements.

Acceleration in May
Pushed by a few combative teams within the CGT and the FSU, and by the anger of the agents, the inter-union called on Monday, June 17 for "a week of mobilization through strike". This made it possible to organize pickets, rallies, actions by sector and to get together for a big demonstration on Thursday.

The appeal boosted a mobilization that was struggling to expand, pushing the union teams to return to see colleagues. Garbage collectors and sewer workers began a renewable strike the following Monday. We can regret this gap which will have reduced the strike force. But the entry into the battle of the employees of the cleanliness and water will have had the merit of quickly attracting a media attention which was lacking until now.

The City of Paris, which seemed unperturbed, finally announced a first decline. Of the eight days off that we risk losing, three would be saved. It is not much, but it is the first proof that the mobilization pays.

The big pitfall is democracy at the grassroots, and not just because of the health crisis. Certain union bureaucracies, which did not want to risk seeing the demands of the employees exceed those of the inter-union, prevented the holding of GA. However, it is when colleagues "hold" their movement, when they and they decide on its consequences, that we can see developing the desire to go all together in a harder movement, and an investment of each, without total delegation to union representatives.

The reconstruction of massive unions in the City of Paris, capable of reaching every colleague on each site and endowed with democratic functioning, is a sine qua non for the success of future movements. These unions will have to organize GAs and breathe new life into the struggles, in order to involve all of the strikers.

Gabrielle (UCL Pantin)

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