“We collectively reaffirm our opposition to the reform project! While the National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee was hearing the various unions on Wednesday January 25 on the pension reform project, the leaders of the eight main unions wanted to reaffirm their unity in front of the Palais-Bourbon.
“We must both maintain union unity and maintain the support of public opinion”, explains the general secretary of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, while organizations evoke a hardening of the movement. Thus the CGT-cheminots and SUD-rail, which called for two days of strike on February 7 and 8, evoking a renewable strike from mid-February.
“I will not do the government the pleasure of blocking the country so that it can turn public opinion around”, insists Laurent Berger. “For us, it is important that there are no excessively recurrent mobilizations”, it is underlined on the side of the CFDT whose employees of the main federations – health services and social services, in particular – ” do not have the means to mobilize continuously”.
“There is nothing more democratic than a union: there are confederal watchwords, then everyone is free to decide according to their sector and their environment”, explains François Hommeril, president of the CFE-CGC.
All the unions insist on mobilization on the ground, in business or administration sections. “Everywhere, in all sectors, it tows to explain the effects of the reform and it disengages,” adds Patricia Drevon, confederal secretary of Force Ouvrière, in charge of the organization. “Our activists also go to meet elected officials,” she continues. And, when I see that the majority would lack fifty votes, I tell myself that this work is not in vain. »
Between mobilization and resignation
And there is no question for the unions to detach themselves from their next objective: the day of mobilization on Tuesday, January 31. “We will see after what actions will lead us, explains Patricia Drevon. If two million people in the street are not enough, then we will think about a possible hardening. »
But in public companies, some are also questioning their blocking capacity, even seeming resigned to the disappearance of the status and the special pension scheme. “Our status, which will no longer concern new entrants, is in fact destined to disappear with the gradual creation of subsidiaries, to take account of the future opening up to competition, recognizes Frédéric Ruiz, president of the CFE-CGC at the RATP. Our demand essentially relates to the general pension scheme. Because it concerns most of the time our spouses, our children, and also already about 10% of the RATP workforce. »
“Seeing the extent of the mobilization on January 19, many colleagues, who at first seemed resigned, said to themselves that it was worth entering into the battle, tempers Julien Troccaz, federal secretary at Sud-rail. The SNCF will be one of the locomotives of the movement. »
While the government hopes that a certain number of concessions will allow the unity between public and private to crumble, Benoît Teste, secretary general of the FSU, doubts the effectiveness of this strategy. “Opposing to each other may have worked in the past: but it’s over, because there are no more privileged people,” he warns. We will take all the social advances it will offer, but it will never be a counterpart to the two-year decline in the legal retirement age. »
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