A - I n f o s

a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **
News in all languages
Last 30 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts Our archives of old posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Greek_ 中文 Chinese_ Castellano_ Catalan_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Francais_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkurkish_ The.Supplement

The First Few Lines of The Last 10 posts in:
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours

Links to indexes of first few lines of all posts of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004 | of 2005 | of 2006 | of 2007 | of 2008 | of 2009 | of 2010 | of 2011 | of 2012 | of 2013 | of 2014 | of 2015 | of 2016 | of 2017 | of 2018 | of 2019 | of 2020 | of 2021 | of 2022 | of 2023

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF - How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups

(en) France, UCL AL #335 - Trade unionism, feminized sectors: A Rainbow that does not make Tolbiac dream! (ca, de, fr, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 22 Mar 2023 07:29:04 +0200

The year 2022 ends with another successful strike, lasting more than a month, in the cleaning sector. A massively feminized and racialized branch, the movement was supported by a broad trade union front. Several lessons can be drawn from this struggle. ---- After Sorbonne-University in 2021, it was at the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne that a strike broke out in November 2022 in the cleaning sector. The ten agents (mostly women) hired by the company Arc-en-Ciel on the Tolbiac site led a month-long strike against their working conditions. ---- Abuse and harassment, unfair dismissal of a colleague, non-payment of overtime and certain bonuses, absence of contracts: so many grounds for claims and legitimate anger.

We find there the usual methods in the cleaning sector, but particularly at the company Arc-en-Ciel, known to be one of the most rotten, and confronted with recurring conflicts.

The first objective was to create the presence of these "invisible" workers who clean a 21-storey tower on a daily basis. A daily picket was organized in the hall of the center, animated by the strikers and their supporters, especially students.

Several actions to make this mobilization as visible as possible have been carried out, such as the sticking up of posters, the distribution of leaflets, or the papers spread on the floor of the hall to insist on the need for this work.

A speech was even held with more than a hundred people and numerous interventions in front of the university. It was a success, which made it possible not only to impose on the presidency of the university to tolerate the picket in the university (while she wanted to reject it outside in the middle of winter), but also to attract more wide attention.

That of the students and staff of the university of course, rather favorable in this center usually very mobilized, but also of the press which came several times, which put greater pressure on the university.

Unified trade union support
This efficiency was made possible by the organization of workers within the CNT-SO (National Confederation of Labor - Workers' Solidarity), which united the team while giving them the tools to fight.

Student organizations, such as Révolution Permanente, Solidaires Étudiants, the UNEF (National Union of Students of France) and the FSE (Student Union Federation), as well as professional struggle unions (Sud, CGT, FSU), supported the movement, while leaving it its autonomy.

The picket, in the hall of the center, sees students passing by every day
Communist Initiative
University staff were thus able to relay the demands of the strikers during the technical committee and during meetings with the presidency. The maintenance of a large strike fund since the 2019 movement, co-managed by Sud and the CGT, has also made it possible to financially support the movement.

The culture of struggle and the trade union and interprofessional union facilitated the maintenance of the strike over time. The presidency of the faculty was thus put in front of its own contradictions and its different arguments internally and with the strikers. This forced her to hold a more radical discourse than her original positions.

Another positive effect: the right and the extreme right (the UNI, the Cocarde and the GUD) were kept at a distance throughout the movement, which proves that the most effective bulwark against the extreme right is social struggle!

Faced with the strength of the movement, Arc-en-Ciel of course tried to divide the workers by taking an inflexible position, refusing the reinstatement of the dismissed colleague and sending other teams to try to clean up the site.

The contempt and the absence of negotiation with the strikers ended up being heavy after a month of conflict, when the question of pay began to arise as the end of the year holidays approached.

Despite these tensions, the movement remained united until the signing on December 5 of a victorious agreement: salary increases, requalifications on permanent contracts, payment of the stripping bonus and the 13th month. It is therefore a material and political victory for the strikers.

Despite everything, the obstinate refusal to reinstate the dismissed colleague as well as other problems raised during the strike led the CNT-SO to seize the industrial tribunal. Finally, we will have to remain vigilant, Arc-en-Ciel having not hesitated to trample its own end-of-conflict agreement at Sorbonne-University after a few months.

The outsourcing problem
In addition to the conquests it allowed, this struggle had several positive effects within the university. It strengthened the unity and determination of the struggle organizations, which moreover won the majority of seats in the professional elections that followed the movement.

She also shed light on outsourcing within the faculty. The phenomenon is known and massive in the building or at the Post Office, with the key to degraded working conditions but also strikes.

But it is also becoming widespread at the university, in security and cleaning activities, and recently even for taking notes for the minutes of deliberations in central councils!

It is absurd to continue this siphoning of public funds in the service of abusive companies, and the Paris I unions have already planned to lead a campaign in 2023 to obtain the internalization of these tasks. Finally, this struggle reminded us that the university cannot function without feminized and racialized professions, in cleaning but also in administration (also in great suffering in Paris I).

Obtaining victories in these sectors is strategic for militant unionism. It is essential to take hold of these questions, especially in view of March 8.

Hugo (UCL Montreuil)

Read also "Cleaning subcontracting: strikes follow one another, Rainbow remains", Power relations, December 14, 2022.
Read also "End of conflict agreement for cleaning staff subcontracted by Arc-en-Ciel in Tolbiac (Paris I University)" on cnt-so.org.
Read also "A year of struggle on the DPD and Chronopost pickets" on sudptt.org.

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
By, For, and About Anarchists
Send news reports to A-infos-en mailing list
Subscribe/Unsubscribe https://ainfos.ca/mailman/listinfo/a-infos-en
Archive: http://ainfos.ca/en
A-Infos Information Center