“For the first time in its contemporary history, the CFDT has not proposed another project. The answer was: nothing. “If, officially, the CFDT refuses to fuel” the cockfight “, the remark of Emmanuel Macron from Beijing deeply irritates the central reformist.
“During the consultation, we shared lots of ideas: everything was brushed aside. However, when we take up an economist like Jean-Hervé Lorenzi, we are still inspired by serious people! “Summarizes a CFDT official, recalling that the Belleville plant did not wait for Emmanuel Macron to propose to reform the French pension system. It is even a historical marker of his reformism.
From 1995, with Nicole Notat at its head, the CFDT was the only one to support the reform proposed by Alain Juppé. A position that shakes up internally. Even if the opponents were outvoted in 1998 at the Lille congress, many members left for the CGT or founded SUD-rail.
“Traitor” and “collaborator”
In 2003, while Jean-Pierre Raffarin wanted to extend the Balladur reform to the civil service (going from 37.5 to 40 years of contribution), François Chérèque, a time opposed, agreed to rally after having obtained concessions, in particular the creation of the system on long careers.
Here again, the reactions are virulent internally. While François Chérèque is accused of “traitor” and “collaborator”, the CFDT will lose 70,000 members in a few years, entire unions seceding to join Solidaires, the FSU or the CGT…
These departures, which often concern members of the public sector, are also an opportunity for the Belleville central to structure its reformist discourse and to establish itself as the confederation of private sector employees.
In 2010, during the Congress of Tours, the CFDT endorsed its line on pensions, pleading for a universal system and accepting that the contribution period could be correlated to life expectancy, subject to measures of solidarity and social justice. .
It is in this capacity that she will refuse, a few weeks later, the Sarkozy reform pushing back the legal retirement age from 60 to 62, but will approve the Touraine law of 2014, accepting the progressive extension of the contribution period. in exchange for recognition of hardship. This is also why, if she accepted the El Khomri law of 2016, she rejected the Macron ordinances the following year going back on the arduousness.
Faithful to its desire for a universal system, it defends in 2019 the systemic reform proposed by Emmanuel Macron, but opposes the addition of the establishment of a pivotal age. She will obtain the withdrawal of the measure, a few weeks before the shelving of the entire reform project.
“The CFDT has assumed its responsibilities”
“From 2003 to 2013, the CFDT assumed its responsibilities. It has chosen to act on the duration of activity, while obtaining social justice measures”, summed up Laurent Berger during the Lyon congress in June 2022.
This reaffirms its opposition to the postponement of the retirement age, which does not prevent the activists from toughening up the final resolution stressing that “the increase in life expectancy cannot justify an increase in the average age liquidation”.
Despite this warning, the government then thinks it can still rally Laurent Berger to its reform, like Nicole Notat in 1995 or François Chérèque in 2003.
“It was Emmanuel Macron who changed his mind, not the CFDT”
“A number of our political leaders thought that the CFDT could be tamed. But it was bad to know her, ”explains to La Croix Jacky Bontems, former deputy general secretary of the union and vice-president of the think tank Living Democracy.
“If the government had only proposed an acceleration of the Touraine law, this could have put us in difficulty, continues a CFDT executive. But since he was on a postponement of the starting age, the case was folded. »