By IWU-FI. 5 October 2021
The trade union centres and youth and student organisations have called for a general strike against a new law that aims to cut pensions and unemployment insurance (forced unemployment); for quality jobs in industry and public administration and a general increase in wages; against introducing conditionality in public aid; an end to redundancies and an end to the casualisation of jobs and young people in training, and reform of student grants, and against the privatisation of public services.
The strike action was agreed at a meeting held on 30 August, in which the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), the Workers’ Force (FO), the Unitary Trade Union Federation (FSU), the Solidaires Trade Union, the Independent and Democratic Federation of High School Students (Fidl), the National Movement of High School Students (MNL), the National Union of Students of France (Unef) and the National Union of High School Students (UNL) took part.
The statement issued by the trade union and student organisations calls for a united mobilisation of all workers in the private and public sector, as well as the youth and the student movement.
Since last year, the government of Emmanuel Macron announced a series of austerity measures in the framework of what was called the reconfiguration of the country post-covid. What it seeks is to recover corporate profits at the cost of the reduction of workers’ and youth’s rights and demands.
The general strike called by the trade union centres and student organisations does not fall in a calm sky. This strike has been preceded by a series of strikes. In January 2020, there was a massive strike of railway and transport workers, which ended in a victory for the workers. In February this year, in the Normandy region, there was a strike at the refineries of the oil company Total. Last June, the Paris City Hall waste collectors, toilets, sweepers, nannies, administrative staff and gardeners mobilised against the extension of their working hours. At the end of September, there was a massive strike of cleaning workers at the Jussieu company. Recently at the transport company Transdev, a strike was held against the employers’ attempt to lower wages. Other wage disputes have taken place at the aeronautical company Ateliers de Haute-Garonne, the industrial bakery Neuhauser and the aeronautical subcontractor Derichebourg, in their respective contracts negotiations.
The organisers of the general strike in their statement call on “women and men of all professions, young people, pensioners and retired people to mobilise on 5 October, through strikes and demonstrations, for better wages, for jobs, for labour rights and better social protection”.