FRANCE: Struggle against austerity: A French mobilization infancy
[machine translation from French] from Alternative Libertaire #223
06 Jan 2013
The European Day of Action on 14 November resulted in France mobilization subdued. We must consider how to build across Europe as a response to austerity. —- On November 14, millions of demonstrators and protesters marched across Europe against austerity, but only one hundred thousand in France. Seek error. The first initiative of the European Day of Action rests with unions in countries most exposed to austerity: Greece, Spain and Italy. The date was picked up by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), central hegemonic orientation clearly reformist. The majority of French unions is affiliated, even if this is not the case of Solidarity. However, the Inter-national has been slow to appeal to this day. Announced at least three weeks before the deadline, it was prepared in a hurry, even sloppy.
Some unions simply wanted to call to demonstrate in support of workers in Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain. The challenge, however, was quite different. The employee-these countries are mobilized en masse, through general strikes one day. The best support we could give them was the extension of mobilization in France. Besides the opportunity lent itself because it was the first event since the inter-election Francois Hollande. It had announced the outlines of a first austerity plan, following the report of the Welsh competitiveness. There would have been clear terms to call a strike, leaning rejection of these measures to professional demands.
Obviously, not everything is so simple. Many militant union teams struggling to convince their colleagues to leave the wait. Struggles start when they are isolated, and workers often resign themselves to seek improvements to attacks. This is the case for PSA Aulnay now, where the majority of employees-are ruled out plans to fight reclassification rather than against the closure.
So far the role of a trade union should be offensive to push the fight. This involves leaving the dialogue, even if it does rely initially on the trade union teams and the most combative sectors. The General Confederation of Labour (CGT) had made a step in this direction during the day defense industry October 9, except that this mobilization would be won by Inter, even small organizations to fight.
out of social cohesion
Finally, this type of European mobilization should lead us to question the nature of the ETUC. In his call text November 14, it asked eg ” reduce imbalances [budget] “to” lead […] social cohesion . ” The Inter French, without taking these slogans, repeated the requirement of ” negotiation of a European social contract . ” You do not build much with such claims. This day should call others, with the aim of European general strike. But it will require reconsideration of our affiliate unions to the central reformist.
Gregory (AL Orleans)