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(en) France, UCL AL #330 - Trade unionism, Social and Economic Committee: Social dialogue in difficulty (ca, de, it, fr, pt, tr)[machine translation]
Sat, 24 Sep 2022 10:14:50 +0300
The Macron ordinances of September 2017 merged the three main personnel bodies
into a single entity, the social and economic committee (CSE). This "
simplification " has resulted in a significant overload of the work of the
delegates whose missions take them away from the realities on the ground. ---- In
September 2017, the Macron ordinances on the Labor Code put an end to three staff
representation bodies, created in 1936 - staff delegates (DP) -, in 1945 - works
councils ( CE) and 1982 - health, safety and working conditions committees
(CHSCT). They have now been brought together in a single body: the social and
economic committee (CSE). ---- Social dialogue unionism is worried ---- The
consequences of these ordinances are radical: the staff representatives, now
fewer in number, are overwhelmed by the increase in the subjects to be dealt
with. This work overload is also increased by the overall drop in delegation hours.
In addition, the disappearance of the CHSCT tends to reduce the place of
questions on safety and working conditions in the action of elected officials.
Finally, the local representatives (PR) who can be installed do not manage to
replace the functions of the staff representatives. This leads to a decline in
individual and collective complaints. All of these trends contribute to
distancing elected staff members from other employees.
An initial assessment of the 2017 ordinances was carried out with 245,000
companies with more than ten employees. Thus, the proportion of companies with
a union representative is constantly falling, whereas it was stable between 2012
and 2018. The same is true for that of companies with a staff representative body.
Even the CFDT, which had approved the Macron ordinances, finds that it is itself
in difficulty in its position as a social dialogue union. In 2022, it sent eleven
proposals to the Ministry of Labor to reform their content, without calling into
question the existence of the CSE. One of its national secretariesexpressed
his "great fears about the ability of trade unions to renew the CSEs", because
"the mandate of elected staff representative at the CSE is not attractive".
Researchers have concluded in the same, highlighting several elements. Their
work indicates in particular that the PR mandate has not received a significant
echo in companies, and that it has been little invested.
The issue of proximity between staff representatives and employees is an issue
for social dialogue trade unionism. But it is also so for the trade unionism of
struggle. For him, staff representation is not the main place of trade union
activity. However, it is a limited but useful tool for mobilizing employees.
Even before the creation of the CSE, several negative trends existed. The mandate
of DP, the closest to the staff, was losing its importance. Works Council members
were already drowning in the excessive agendas of meetings, the latter
monopolizing all their union time. The proliferation of works councils covering a
vast geographical area was already contributing to keeping elected officials away
from contact with their colleagues.
Large companies had also created various and varied bodies for consultation, thus
multiplying the meeting times. The delegates were already obligated to go there
in order to have " all the information ", very often in the context of
inter-union competition, including between wrestling unions !
What reaction from the trade unionism of struggle?
All this is known and is regularly expressed in union meetings. While some of
these excesses are the result of an employer strategy, others are the consequence
of the practices of struggle unionism itself. It is up to him to counter this
strategy which tends to integrate him into the social dialogue.
The CFDT, the very expression of social dialogue unionism, is very far from being
a mass union. It has however become, twice in a row, the union most voted by
Hasn't the time come to put on the agenda this question of staff representation
bodies, their meaning and their limits for militant trade unionism?
DR EMMANUEL CATTIER
Has our struggle unionism really taken into account what this trend means? Do
some of its practices and the image it sends back to employees outline a clear
alternative to social dialogue ? Does the place of the CFDT (with which it is
possible to associate CFTC, UNSA and CFE-CGC), in a context of general weakening
of trade unionism in France, really reflect support for the type of trade
unionism by this structure?
Hasn't the time come to put this question of staff representation bodies, their
meaning and their limits for militant trade unionism, on the agenda of general
assemblies and trade union congresses?
Content of union training, links of elected personnel to the activity of their
union and their local union, the problem of the professionalization of unionists,
union practices in CSEs : the list is long of topics to be debated on the merits.
It is time to take courageous decisions to refuse the poison of social dialogue
and everything that tends to lead to it, thus contributing to building and making
visible a clear strategy of mass trade unionism, struggle and class.
Michel (UCL Vosges)
SOCIAL DIALOGUE TRADE UNIONS
It is a trade unionism of accompaniment, of systematic search for common ground
with the boss, of a give-and-take. Overall, he accepts the setbacks requested by
the employer, in return, possibly, for crumbs for the employees. It focuses on
action and presence in staff representation institutions. It aims above all to
avoid mobilization and the balance of power, without sometimes refusing to
participate in it. But to play this role in the workplace, he needs a certain
legitimacy. It needs the means to ensure that the aspirations of employees and
their anger are heard, then channeled and watered down by being brought back to
the CSE. It is a question of making the latter play the role of delegation of
power. In France, the most important trade union organization for social dialogue
is the CFDT.
Results n°32, Dares, July 12, 2022.
Interview with Philippe Portier in Semaine Sociale Lamy n°2007, July 4, 2022.
Interview with Cyril Wolmark in Semaine Sociale Lamy n°2000, May 16, 2022.
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(en) France, UCL AL #330 - International, Maintenance. Soundz of the South (South African hip-hop collective): "Part of our traditions and cultures were taught to us through colonial construction" (ca, de, it, fr, pt, tr)[machine translation]
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(en) Italy, FDCA - Il Cantiere #10-10: A Resistant Imagery Between Time and Space BY Paolo Lago - Francisco Soriano, fragments, Eretica Edizioni, 2022. (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]