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(en) France, UCL AL #316 = Unionism, CGT: talk politics, yes, but not politician (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 9 Jun 2021 07:30:52 +0300

What relationship of the CGT to politics and parties ? With the approach of the confederal congress of spring 2022, the debate was relaunched by the signing of an action pact with environmental associations, and by the usual internal positions in view of the presidential election. ---- The constantly changing wording of the preamble to the CGT statutes perfectly marks the evolution of majority conceptions of the relationship to politics. The Amiens Charter fixed the CGT with its "double duty": immediate demands and the advent of socialism, by keeping political organizations at bay ; the general strike being the tool for the expropriation of capitalists and the revival of factories.

But the CGT has gradually refocused on the protest by delegating the change of society to the parties. The search for an electoral "political outcome" to the social struggles will lead to the decision to strictly limit the general strike of May 68 to economic demands and, a few years later, to co-sign the Common Government Program concluded between the PCF, the PS and the MRG.

"Never again"
Bringing together among others the CGT, Solidaires, the FSU, the Confédération paysanne, Attac, the Dal, but also the NGOs Greenpeace and Oxfam, this pact[1]calls for a "crisis exit plan" for the social and climate emergency. and health in this period of pandemic. Still largely unknown in the CGT, the pact is the victim of contradictory controversies in the confederation.

Signed urgently by Martinez, undoubtedly so as not to leave the monopoly to the CFDT which was beginning to unite around its own call, it was nowhere discussed, neither at the Confederal Bureau, nor in the Environment working group. This strong passage leaves a lasting unease, including among those who support the approach and who have created local unitary variations.

But for all those who oppose it on the merits, democratic denial serves as a pretext. A first pillar of the protest is forged by those who consider that the CGT, already in difficulty in its bases, would do better to concentrate on traditional struggles and not to get involved in "politics". A second pillar is carried by those who refuse to hear that the ecological emergency has become central for a society free from capitalism, and that the old productivist reflexes must be reviewed.

In a CGT which sometimes has difficulty in establishing a compass, conflicts of person and orientation most often take place between activists of the PCF movement. Many of them dream of a return to a supposed golden age, when there was total osmosis between CGT and PCF. The large-scale launch of the Unity CGT network brings together some of these nostalgic people. A combative posture, a class struggle discourse that could appeal.

But who really wants such a step back ? The launch of a call by 500 union activists for a PCF candidacy for the 2022 presidential elections should alert union members. Far from electoral illusions, it is a return to the "double duty" that workers need. In complete independence.

Jean-Yves (UCL Limousin)


[1] "Never again ! A world to rebuild", June 2, 2020, on Cgt.fr

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