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(en) ait russia: France: Fatal betrayal of trade union bosses [machine translation]

Date Sat, 25 Jan 2020 10:36:43 +0200

The bureaucratic trade unions of France, as one would expect, are "surrendering" the strike movement against pension reform. The defeat of the current protests will have disastrous consequences for the labor movement not only in France, but throughout Europe. Having abandoned a real total general strike, which could lead to a decisive frontal clash with the regime and its police forces, the trade union bosses doomed the strike movement to slow dying. This is precisely what the neoliberal regime was counting on. ---- The scope of strikes and protests against pension reform is decreasing, despite the fact that in the end here and there violent clashes erupt from the fierce inhabitants of France, who do not want to accept the defeat that has been identified. Prime Minister Philip at the end of last week recalled the catchphrase of the Communist Party leader Maurice Thorez, which he said in 1936 after a powerful wave of strike movement: "You need to be able to finish the strike." But this is not so easy with the current strikes and protests against pension reform, since Macron and his government are clearly determined not to retreat on any of the most important points, but just to hold on and wait until the wave of protests subsides. Using this tactic, the authorities were already able to successfully push through the "liberalization" of labor legislation in 2017. And in 2018 they "survived" during the three-month (at intervals) strike of the railway workers against the reform of the railway. And now they can also succeed in this way.

The strikes, which began on December 4 and cost their participants a month and a half salary, are coming to an end. The strongest of the UNSA Parisian transport workers' unions convened a meeting of metro drivers at the end of the week, and they decided by a majority of votes on Monday morning to end their strike, promising, however, to continue protests in a different form. True, the next Friday is scheduled for the 7th "day of strikes and actions" against pension reform. Metro train drivers played a major role in severely restricting traffic in Paris, but bus drivers and other transport workers were less involved. And on the state railways, SNCF played a major role in the strike train drivers. However, the number of strikers among them has already fallen to 20%, and among all railway workers - to 5%.

In the morning of January 17, dozens of members (pro-communist - aitrus) of the VKT union broke into the building of the FDKT reformist union to express their indignation to the chairman of this association, Laurent Berger, for his readiness to negotiate with the authorities. The police brought them out. The leadership of VKT hastened to dissociate itself from this action.

In the evening, more than 30 people broke into one of the theaters in Paris, where Macron and his wife were about to see the performance. They chanted Macron's resignation. The president's whereabouts were reported on Twitter by a journalist who happened to be in the theater. "By the strike of the 12th arrondissement of Paris," I saw this information and through social networks I called on the protesters to take the opportunity to "clearly express their opinion to Macron." Police ousted people from the building. At the end of the performance, Macron was evacuated from the building to the whistle and cries of hundreds of indignant people ( https: //www.neues-deutschland.de/artikel/1131658.gelbwesten-noch-ein-auf ... )
State power, media, banks - the protest of the French population against the neoliberal policy of President Macron has been confronting powerful opponents for months. But now they have become super-powerful: the strikers run out of money. The UNSA, the most important public transport union, demanded that its members stop the strike: they want to replace the "indefinite strike" with a "different form of action." It is not yet clear how ordinary members will react to the surrender of their leadership. One thing is clear: resistance against Macron is gradually losing its financial base. Every time they go outside, rather than to work, French wage earners lose their income - this has been going on for 45 days.

Banks responded in their own way: in Paris and other cities of the country, they had been hammering money machines with heavy wood panels for weeks. Those wishing to receive cash must come during opening hours and be allowed inside the building. Behind such barricades, a symbol of growing social divisions, Macron hid with his government. He just waited for the resistance to break about a lack of money (...)

The bourgeois media have long decided to come to the aid of Macron. The right-wing weekly "Poin" posted on the first page of the new issue a photograph of the smiling VKT leader Philippe Martine, which should obviously serve as the "physiognomy" of the resistance. The headline reads: "How the CGT destroys France." Martine and his CGT have led a protest since December 2019. Like other unions, they demand a recall of the submitted "reform plans" and a "serious discussion" on how to adequately ensure old age and those who cannot survive on their current retirement. But the concept of government looks completely different. It proceeds from capitalization-oriented supplementary pensions, which should step by step replace the current state pension system.

The strike of the French workers turned into an unequal struggle. The labor law, which Macron sold in 2018, leaves no doubt and applies in this regard to both the public and private sectors: those who do not come to work or work - at the construction site, at the docks, at school, hospital, university , opera or kindergarten - does not receive a salary. The law does not know mercy and is applied for each "missed day and hour." As for civil servants, only the government can make an exception and put a constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression, including on the street and against the president, higher than political calculation. That is, to pay salaries during the strike. But Macron is infinitely far from this (...) (https://www.jungewelt.de/artikel/370884.frankreich-hinter-den-barrikaden.html)

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