Macron’s Bulldozer keeps moving forward. After the rulings on labour law, and before reforming unemployment benefits, he is targeting working class youths and public sector employees. As arrogant as ever, Macron just forgot one thing: he has now united the whole working class against him.
The Spinetta report: one provocation too many
Last week, Jean-Cyril Spinetta, a former Air France CEO, delivered a report on the railway system to the government. More attacks are being prepared against railway workers, for instance new hires will not get the special railway workers status anymore.
The government paints railway workers as clinging to their “privileges”. But the truth is far from this fiction. New hires usually get minimum wage and many retire with a monthly salary no higher than €1,500. Mixed shifts are the rule and schedules are sometimes changed at the last minute.
Railway workers have the same problems as everyone else: frozen wages and harder jobs due to lack of hiring. Not to mention that many railway workers are temps or on fixed-term contract, just like in the Post Office or in hospitals.
The only so-called “privilege” of having railway worker special status is job security. But the government and the railway company want to be able to layoff freely and threaten all railway workers with unemployment.
Employees and commuters, all under attacks
These attacks against railway workers are part of a general offensive against public services. Any service that is not profitable must be reorganised or closed: train lines, schools, hospitals, post offices…
Hospital and retirement home staff are overworked and underpaid. They are fed up.
In this context, the government just announced it will cut 120,000 service sector jobs by the end of 2022, so it can generalise using temps, with unsecure jobs, easier to get rid of.
From a simmering of fights to a social explosion?
By throwing attack after attack on all fronts, the government rouses anger. This anger could very well explode.
In hospitals strike are on the rise, see Toulouse, Lyon, Rennes and elsewhere.
In education, high school students, university students and teachers have started to organise against the reforms that aim at preventing working class youths from entering university.
A strike of undocumented immigrants has started a week ago in temp agencies.
In many industries, including the private sector, workers show a will to fight. They are fed up with redundancy plans at Pimkie, Carrefour and others. After the staff of Onet that cleans the train stations in the north of Paris has won a fight, the room attendants and the dishwashers of the Clichy Holiday Inn hotel have won theirs.
On February 22nd, Air France worker are called to strike for wages.
On March 22nd, public service workers will mobilise, and railway workers from all over the country will demonstrate.
To stop the government’s attacks, all the mobilisations and built up anger must join into a global fight of the working class, bringing public and private sectors together.