Ocnus.Net
News Before It's News
About us | Ocnus? |

Front Page 
 
 Africa
 
 Analyses
 
 Business
 
 Dark Side
 
 Defence & Arms
 
 Dysfunctions
 
 Editorial
 
 International
 
 Labour
 
 Light Side
 
 Research
Search

Labour Last Updated: Oct 11, 2017 - 3:19:14 PM


French Unions Reunite in Call for Civil Servants' Strike Tuesday
By Gregory Viscusi, Bloomberg, October 9, 2017
Oct 10, 2017 - 1:29:53 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

France’s divided unions failed to prevent President Emmanuel Macron from pushing through an overhaul of the country’s labor law. Now, they’re hoping that by presenting a united front they can weigh on government plans to limit spending on civil servants.

The eight largest unions have called on France’s 5.4 million civil servants to stay off the job Tuesday and take part in 130 protest marches across the country. On Monday night, union leaders will meet in Paris to discuss whether to call for further actions to protest what they say are Macron policies that benefit the wealthy.

“Our goal is to call a concerted day of action to fix what’s not working in this country,” Philippe Martinez, head of the CGT union, said on France Info radio Monday. “We are going to remind him that there’s the bubble he lives in and there’s the real world. We are more effective when we are united than when we are divided.” Martinez, whose union is France’s second largest, is pushing for a general strike over the hesitation of some other unions.

Tuesday’s civil service strike will be felt most in schools, hospitals, and government offices. France’s civil aviation authority called on airlines to cancel 30 percent of their flights. Air France says it expects to run all long haul flight and 75 percent of short- and medium-haul.

Some unions representing railroad workers have called for strikes, even though their employees are not officially civil servants. Those strike calls may not be heeded to because both the national railroad and the Paris public transport authority say trains, metros, and buses will be running as normal Tuesday.

 


Sick Days

Tuesday’s strike was called to protest a pay freeze and tighter rules for sick days. Union leaders say the strike is also meant to express general unhappiness about work conditions and staffing levels, especially in hospitals.

“Civil servants feel they are considered just a cost, and not an asset for the country,” Laurent Berger, head of the CFDT, the country’s largest union, said Monday on RTL Radio. “They face serious issues of purchasing power.”

French unions were divided on their reaction to Macron’s use of decrees in September to push through changes to labor laws that included limits on severance pay and a simplification of worker representation boards. The CGT called for a series of poorly attended protests. The CFDT and Force Ouvriere declined to take part because the government had held several rounds of negotiations with the unions before the decrees were written.

But the CFDT and FO have been critical of Macron’s overall economic policies, and agreed to the CGT’s invitation to discuss further days of protests, even if they haven’t committed to backing a general strike.

‘Issue of Justice’

“When you cut payments to the poor and then eliminate the wealth tax, you have a serious issue of justice,” the CFDT Berger said on RTL. “There have been too many gifts to the rich and not enough economic efficiency. Justice and efficiency can go together.”

Meanwhile, Macron’s popularity is recovering after the summer’s steep slide. His approval rating rose three points to 40 percent in September according to Elabe’s monthly poll released Sunday, with gains mostly coming from elder voters.

Also according to an earlier Elabe’s poll, 45 percent of the French say Macron’s policies are centrist, 40 percent say they are too far to the right, and 14 percent say too far to the left.


Source:Ocnus.net 2017

Top of Page

Labour
Latest Headlines
How Millennials Are Trying To Revive The Labor Movement
Coal union gets the green light to strike
The Untold Story of How Immigrants Turned the Wobblies into a Global Force
Trump's Sleight of Hand Will Bring Ruin to American Workers
Federal agencies used port trucking companies with labor violations
Some Kids Are Not Orphans Because Of This: How Unions Are Keeping Workers Safe
Unions at Romanian car producer Dacia prepare massive protest
Romanian largest union organization prepares for general strike
AFL-CIO Must Shine Light on Past Foreign Policy, Activists Say
Pope Francis: Labor unions are essential to society