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(en) France, UCL AL #324 - unionism, Solidaires Etudiant.es: Integration into professional trade unionism (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 19 Mar 2022 11:27:12 +0200

In January, Macron announced his plan for the public university. On the program: liberalization, destructuring and increase in registration fees. Faced with these attacks, resistance is organized. Among them, that of the Student Solidarity unions. ---- Founded in 2013, the Solidaires Étudiant-es federation is made up of around thirty unions. Supported by the Charter of Amiens (1906) and the Charter of SUD-PTT (1999), it practices a unionism of struggle and self-management. The unions meet regularly at federal meetings, systematically striving to seek consensus in their discussions. The federal secretariat is mandated to apply their decisions. The secretaries do not play the role of decision-making bureaucrats, their action being framed as much as possible by federal decisions. In this way, each union participates in the construction and operation of the federation.

A full member of the Union Syndicale Solidaires, Solidaires Étudiant-es enables its activists to familiarize themselves with the activities of professional unions and to participate in all the struggles of our class. Thus, its members contribute to interprofessional work by taking part in company tours, propaganda activities and the general life of local unions. In return, the existence of Solidaires Étudiant-es allows professional unions to intervene more effectively in places of study and to have more militant forces at their disposal.

Historically, student unionism - typically, the Unef - trained executives who then joined political parties - typically, the PS -, sometimes with a view to careerism. Thanks to its integration into professional and self-managing trade unionism, Solidaires Étudiant-es makes it possible, on the contrary, to train leaders of struggle who will then get involved in professional unions.

For a robust structure
Due to the transient nature of their student activity, however, members only stay in the union for a few years. Thus, it is crucial for Solidaires Étudiant-es to train them solidly, in order to be able to maintain the cohesion of the federation while preparing its members for their future tasks within the professional unions. This is a perilous task, which requires a robust structuring allowing the maintenance over time of knowledge and practices at the same time as a permanent recruitment of new members so that the local unions do not disappear.

Today, the main challenge for Solidaires Étudiant-es is to establish a mass anchorage, in order to bring student mobilizations to life and grow. This massification is complicated by the significant turnover mentioned above, but also by the existence of a militant inter-self that can constitute a brake on membership. Thus, Solidaires Étudiant-es is struggling for the moment to compete with the co-management structures in terms of number and visibility. Despite everything, faced with the liberalization reforms of the university, the role of the unions of struggle like Solidaires Étudiant-es is more than ever essential.

Leo and Yanis (UCL Rennes)

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