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(en) France, UCL - Movement for the defense of pensions, Towards a prolonged mass strike? (ca, de, it, fr, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 1 Feb 2023 08:31:59 +0200

[UCL Brief No. 1]Two million people on the streets! After the unexpected success of the interprofessional action day of January 19, 2023, an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a mobilization still in the making. ---- It was not written that the 19th would be such a tidal wave of historic events, not only in large cities but also in many medium-sized cities. And the media, obsessed with a blockage of the country, have put forward figures of significant strikers in the sectors which have regularly mobilized in recent years. ---- It is however necessary to keep reason. Even in these traditional sectors, there are still many people to convince that it is worth losing days of wages despite the inflation that eats away at the end of the month. Because the AGs of strikers are far from having filled up, neither at the SNCF, nor in education. And if strikers were numerous in private companies, largely thanks to national union unity, we are still very far, in a context of union deserts, massive stoppages of production and activities.

Many employees, retirees, precarious people came to the demonstrations thanks to the media but without having met the slightest trade unionist... In this context of a social body martyred by the incessant blows carried out by employers and successive governments, the patient is still in full recovery. Nothing guarantees in advance the success of January 31 and the expansion of the mobilization.

Is 31 too far?
Some sectors are unhappy, impatient to fight it out. But let's not waste the coming days on useless invectives. Firstly because it is important to maintain union unity. Then because our weakened trade union structures need time to conquer feminized professional sectors, in particular female workers who are isolated in the care professions, young people, managers... But also thousands of companies without trade unions!

Let's not fall into the trap of a new "proxy strike", it would be sure failure. Especially since the employees of the sectors concerned are a little tired of having remained isolated in the strike in recent years. Let's not fall into the illusion of minority "blockages" either. Certainly they can be useful at key moments, but hindering the flow of production will never replace stopping production!

The question of watchwords
The inter-union holds on two refusals: the 64 years and the refusal of the additional quarters. We can regret that the platform is not more offensive, but that's the way it is. It is therefore useless at this stage to play the competition between trade union confederations. The objective is simple and readable: withdrawal of the law. Withdrawal which will only be acquired at the cost of a massive and lasting strike. Let us not forget, all the same, to add to it, in particular in the private sector, the question of salary increases, in obvious connection with the receipts of social security contributions for the pension funds.

The renewable general strike
The goal is of course in the minds of all combative activists. However, the path to get there is difficult. It must first be understood and accepted that it will not start from a call from the inter-union. It must be built from the ground up, without hesitation but without haste. The timing is impossible to set arbitrarily, even if the idea of leaving on February 1 is tempting. But the danger of needlessly exhausting isolated sectors in the struggle threatens us. Hence the importance of succeeding, on January 31, in increasing not only the number of demonstrators but especially that of strikers, especially in the private sector. Between now and January 31, we must therefore multiply local initiatives, organize the largest inter-union general meetings in companies, schools and services, but also in localities. The 31st is tomorrow.

And the political prospects?
We aim for the development of a mass and lasting strike through unitary union activity combined with the self-organization of workers. During a lasting general strike, each professional branch, each company lives and develops the conflict according to its own rhythms. There is no red button or all-powerful staff. But it is quite certain that during the development of such a strike, the political questions are debated passionately by the strikers: once obtained the withdrawal of the law, what additional demands? What if the strike still lasts? The question arises of power, of the expropriation of the bosses, of the self-management of companies and of society! Without maximalism or dogmatism, these are also the questions that we must begin to ask, especially in the most committed sectors.

UCL leaflets for the battle for pensions
On renewable strike from January 31!
Battle for our pensions: how to win?
Let's not waste our lives earning it!
Inflation, pensions: the big heist!

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