Thursday , July 29 2021

November 17: Overwhelmed, unions cling to their methods

"Traitors," "lying on the feet of politicians," "corrupt poodles." In social networks, the sympathizers of November 17 unleashed against the central unions. "There is courage, among the unemployed, the retired, the young, who, we feel, describe a future protester. The convergence of the struggles that trade unions talked a lot about throughout the year could be now. " After the mobilizations against work orders, the rise of the CSG, the ParcoursSup or the defense movements of the retirees, this time, without them, will make known the main unions that are aligned with the "yellow vests".

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For the CFDT, this "The call to the blockade of November 17 is not the most appropriate response." If the power station "It understands and supports employees who express their dissatisfaction with a new rise in fuel prices," explains Philippe Portier, national secretary of the Confederation "A change in behavior " Against the climatic emergency. It is not about opposing the imposition of green taxes, even if this happens "The transition to a cleaner travel mode should not increase inequalities." To achieve a balance between the defense of the environment and the purchasing power of workers, a complicated displacement against the whole left, the CFDT proposes to fight for a "Tax credit for ecological conversion" or a "Energy check at the destination, for example, employees with lower incomes, who do not live in urban areas and are forced to take their car to work daily." Sual speech in SUD-Solidaires, where we grant that we see with attention "What has returned to" When the movement in social networks emerged. "They are being mobilized precisely in relation to injustice. But we are, rather, in favor of an ecological transition," he said. says a union spokesman.


Another concern that drives the main power plants to disassociate itself: the political recovery of the movement. For the CGT, there is one "Instrumentalization of exasperation" citizens The complaint center "Dark springs" of this mobilization behind it "Several parts of the extreme right seem to be in charge". Ante "This movement does not necessarily make the right questions and, therefore, it does not necessarily have the correct answers"Fabrice Angeï, Confederal Secretary, remembers the demands of the CGT: "For us, the issue of purchasing power covers the revaluation of salaries, pensions, a subsidy for autonomy for young people, the maintenance of public services. Not for a jacquerie against taxes."

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True to its independent line in front of the politician, the central FO took the party not even mentioning on November 17 in its statement about rising fuel prices. "Members will do what they want", commented an executive, who insisted "Neutrality" of FO. "The social situation is extremely tense, the risk is that day 17 will have a real overflow." acknowledges another FO union leader, who will stay home Saturday.

Disadvantages of the issue, unions are detained. "Of course, we should question the apparent massive enthusiasm for this mobilization of November 17 while we strive to create a sufficient balance of power, at least in projects of national magnitude," he said. write the CGT on an internal note. For Jean-Dominique Simonpoli, general director of the association's dialogues, specialist in social dialogue, on Saturday they ask more trade unionists than the movement "They were born out of the company. These are practices outside the general regime. For the unions, the challenge is to convince the militants that their anger must go through the classic lines of militancy. And so, for them. In Maine and Loire, the departmental union FO calls the dissatisfied "Gather" around your unions, to get one "General increase in salaries and pensions" through negotiation, in companies and institutions. Is this enough to keep who would have been tempted on November 17? "Many of our members of the union go, they said, said a departmental director. There is a real anger among the population, who is tired of giving billions to the bosses and making the pockets of the poor. The fuel issue is only revealing: the cost of living is increasing, salaries are being blocked. There is a real uproar. "


In spite of the instructions of its management, some union organizations decided to be united to the movement. Please note that the topic is discussed internally. This is the case of the CGT reception and surveillance agents in Paris. "The confederation is against because, supposedly, the extreme right is at the origin of November 17. I do not care about politics. I will not strengthen it, I will defend people. No one can live, find work"says Jean-Claude Hamelin, his secretary general, to retransmit on Twitter convocations of mobilization. The National Union of Urban Transportation-CFDT Saint-Etienne, which boasts of being one of the first to be "Shoot the social alarm", it will be on Saturday. "We will not accept the attempts to instrumentalize, but that should not prevent us from defending ourselves. Before being a member, we are citizens. There was May 68, we expect that in November 2018 it will be the awakening of the citizen, said one of its leaders. For its part, the section SGP-Police-FO announced that it will participate launching one day "No PV".

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At the top of the plants, these initiatives are considered marginal. We insist on union power, the only power to advance social demands on the streets. And without overflow. "When a union organizes a mobilization, it does it democratically, peacefully and in agreement with the republican values". said Pascal Pavageau on 1st July, when he was still Secretary General of FO. I want to dispense with him, he says, could lead to one "Radical forms of action". "All movements need some kind of organization." also note in SUD-Solidaires. A speech that curiously repeats that of the Minister of Labor, Muriel Pénicaud, a few days of mobilization. "When there are strikes and demonstrations, there are responsible people who say that those who protest are safe", said the Senate Public on Monday, worried about November 17 for his absence "Organizations structures".

The CGT, who plans to organize a day off in public and private "for the first months of 2019 », intends to withdraw by hand. What to forget on November 17? "During the mobilization against labor law, a petition had gathered more than one million signatures, but these people did not go out. There is a margin between declaration and reality", observes Fabrice Angeï. And to add: "Anger exists. Now it is up to us to give perspective. Build a mobilization, it's planned. Otherwise, something goes up and that makes the pschitt".

Amandine Cailhol


Gurvan Kristanadjaja

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