Between 224,000 and 500,000 protesters were in the streets across the country on March 9! 1.2 million online signatures have been gathered against the Work Act. In less than three weeks, anger has been expressed, organized, demonstrated. A specter haunts the bosses, the government, the left and the right: that of having to abandon this project of a widespread attack against the working class and young people.
Tens of thousands of workers marched: from railways, automobile companies, public and private sectors, from all branches, alongside university and high school students. They all joined in the street against the El-Khomri Act.
François Hollande does not consider withdrawing the Act and instead talks of “corrections” that compromising unions will be able to pick. But what is there to negotiate? The capping of labour tribunal compensation in case of unfair dismissal? As journalists noted: this involves only 2% of layoffs. “Abusive” layoffs will multiply if the law is passed, since this is its only goal: legalise blackmail, lower pay, make job hours more flexible and facilitate dismissals.
The bosses, the left, the right…
“and then there is us!”
No one is fooled. Because, beyond the law, anger against many other attacks are expressed. Against unbridled exploitation and the blackmails that we experience everywhere, that the bosses impose and that the government “left” wants to authorise, legalise and amplify. “How could I have voted for them?” wonder employees in all companies.
The media and the government try to comfort us: the law will not change much to what is already being done. Indeed, no need to go again through all the measures taken since the beginning of Hollande’s presidency: from the competitiveness and flexibility agreements in 2012 to the Macron Act, and all the billions in tax breaks to the companies that lay off massively. But this is exactly what workers want no more. An auto worker said it this week, expressing the feeling of many others: “there is the right, the left, and the bosses, and then there is us!”
Mobilization is ongoing and must still grow
Students remain mobilized in all universities in France. They setup mobilization committees, coordinating with each other. Everywhere, contacts are made between youth, railway workers, who were on strike last Wednesday, and employees of many companies. This is what must become widespread: wherever possible, young people should go and talk to workers, and, conversely, employees should invite themselves to student general meetings to discuss with them and get together during days of mobilization.
On March 17, young people call again to gather in the street. CGT (particularly metallurgy) and South unions call to mobilize that day. Other days are planned to follow, the 24th, the 31st…
As the media point out, the protesters have won a first round last week: by spreading the idea that this Act is repugnant and, also, that all together, these next few weeks, we can bring this government, the left, the right and the bosses to their knees.
On March 17, all in the streets with university and high school students!