Last Friday, Paris Public Transportation employees had the best response against the attack being prepared against our pensions: a massive strike. The strike involved train drivers as well as maintenance workers. Many departments were practically 100% on strike. Management kept a low profile…
An attack against all workers
Hoping to smooth things down, the government makes vague statements about how the reform will be implemented. But whether the “threshold age” is increased to 64 (by 2025… and what in 2040?), or the number of years of full contributions is increased, the result will be identical: decreased pensions by hundreds of euros monthly, for all workers.
Another aspect is the new “points” system to calculate basic pensions. Private pension schemes already use a point system. The amount is calculated by multiplying the number of points accumulated through contributions to the scheme by an amount called “service value.” For years, the service value has barely kept up with inflation, while the contributions have increased a lot more. So we pay more in contributions and get lower pensions.
Of course, the basic pensions have gone down even without the point system. But the points system allows a faster adaptation to “economic risks” for the bosses. Delevoye, Macron’s pension guru, wants to tune the new system so that the total pension amount paid never exceeds 14 % of the GDP. In other words, next time the GDP goes down, retired people will see their pensions automatically reduced. This is far from the government’s smooth talk that “one contributed euro provides an equal retirement benefit.”
More justice does not mean smaller pensions for workers
Is the current pension scheme unfair? Yes, but not as Delevoye says. Good health life expectancy is shorter for a worker than a manager. Those who live longer are the ones who earn very high salaries… and get correspondingly high pensions. Not to mention stockholders who are not subject to dividend reduction after 65. Justice does not mean miserly “universal” pensions, it means pension funds filled to meet the needs.
New hires and a €300 monthly raise for all!
Nurses in emergency departments have been fighting for months. They demand mass hiring and substantial wage raises – their national coordination just decided on €300. If all workers hit by understaffing and low wages followed in the nurses’ tracks, we can bet that the resulting mass movement would make all our enemies break, bosses and government. At the same time, this would solve the pension problem.
Bus, metro and railway workers, hospital staff, teachers, public and private sector employees… getting all together
Macron knows it. He did not announce a new round of useless talks with union confederations just to avoid losing local elections. He fears that by hitting us now he will unite us all against him. So, let’s not wait to fight back and let’s show him he’s right. Firemen here, public finance employees there, are demonstrating? It’s more than ok for other workers to go and support them, and talk about how to join our anger. Many yellow jackets groups, still active, have this very objective. How right they are!
Among many days of social actions, CGT and Solidaires unions are calling for a strike and demonstrations to defend our pensions on Tuesday 24 September. Whether we fight for pensions, workforce, wages, or work conditions, let’s all join this day of action to make it a success and prepare the next move.