It is a strange welcome gift that Philippe Martinez offered, on July 11, to Jean Castex. Hardly had the secretary general of the CGT left Matignon and the new prime minister, when a press release from the confederation of Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis) called for a “Powerful national day of action”, Thursday September 17.
Announced a little over two months ago, this offering is now becoming reality, with strikes, rallies and demonstrations in several dozen cities. In Paris, the procession was to leave Thursday at the beginning of the afternoon, from the Place de la République to move towards that of the Nation.
The slogans are brewing widely: employment, salary, pensions, public services … If Solidaires, the FSU and youth organizations have joined the movement, this is not the case for Force Ouvrière (FO), yet a member of the inter-union formed at the time of the battle against the pension reform. “We thought that the conditions were not met for this to lead to an effective result”, we explain to the confederation of avenue du Maine, in Paris, where we consider that “Periods of social crisis are not the most favorable to major mobilizations”.
This first social meeting of the start of the school year takes place in a context which can both serve the CGT but also provide it with ammunition. On the tails: the resumption of the epidemic is likely to undermine the desire to pound the pavement. On the other side: the collapse of many companies is causing unrest on which the CGT hopes to capitalize.
“In the workplace, there is strong discontent”
All over France, layoff plans follow job cuts, in SMEs or large groups such as Auchan, Airbus, Renault. Latest example: the announcement on Wednesday of the closure of the Bridgestone plant in Béthune (Pas-de-Calais), which employs 863 people in the manufacture of tires for cars.
“In the workplace, there is a strong dissatisfaction”, assures Céline Verzeletti, member of the Confederal Bureau of the CGT. Everyone must not find themselves trying to cope in their own corner, we must mobilize together. “ There is “Social anger”, assures Eric Beynel, spokesperson for Solidaires. “The way in which the Ségur was concluded is far from having answered the challenges on health. The first to do chores have still not seen anything coming on their payslip and in national education, the situation will quickly become unmanageable ”, he judges.
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