Happy new year: the world top five billionaires of the year earned €42 billion altogether. A Frenchman was among them, Bernard Arnault. Finally a success for Hollande’s presidency! At the bottom of the ladder, there has been an additional million people living in poverty in France in the last ten years. As for unemployment, even after twisting the numbers, the government can’t pretend it has lowered it: still around 3.5 million unemployed according to its official figures that only take into account those who are fully unemployed. Counting all categories there are over 6 million unemployed at the start of 2017. And most of those who become employed have precarious jobs.
Everything for the bosses
Yet the government has not skimped on spending: €33 billion in 2016 for “competitiveness” and supposedly for “jobs”. This is enough to create a million full-time jobs in schools, hospitals or public transportation. Instead, all this money was paid to employers, especially to the biggest. This was supposed to “jump start” the economy. It only boosted profits. No big deal, in 2017 employers will get €41 billion, through this same “tax break”, with no obligation to create a single job…
Their program for 2017…
After all this, they want us to get sucked in their presidential election campaign. On the “left”, Hollande having thrown in the towel, Valls thinks it is enough to promise to strike article 49.3 from the constitution to be forgiven for the Work law (passed as a decree thanks to article 49.3) and the repression of the demonstrations. Under the label “neither right nor left,” Macron believes that displaying the word “revolution” in his meetings will make people forget that he is a banker. And the right freely displays its program of social war: cut 500,000 civil servant jobs; increase weekly hours to 39, paid 35; raise retirement age and bust Social Security.
Marine Le Pen does not even need to add anything: the others do the job for her. She can just pretend to be against them. It saves her from having to explain why she believes “that there is no opposition between the interests of entrepreneurs and employees”. And if she criticized the Work law, it was because it did not sufficiently “relax” the Labor Code for SMEs!
When Trump sets an example…
The CEO of Ford abandoning his plan to relocate a factory in Mexico, at the request of the new US president, was enough for the racist and sexist billionaire to suddenly become an example. Not only for Le Pen, but also for Montebourg. Even Mélenchon began to find positives in Trump, in the name of the hypothetical defense of national economy. It’s not their concern that it means destroying workers rights and making employees pay taxes hitherto paid by the bosses, as Trump is preparing to do when he enters the White House.
For us, it’s a different story!
What we shall gain will be obtained only through our fights against our enemies, heads of State and big businessmen. In the elections to come, the only program worth defending is the one we could put forward in these struggles:
- Ban layoffs;
- Permanent contracts for all precarious jobs;
- Share the work among all without wage reduction;
- General increase of wages, pensions and social minima by 300 euros monthly;
- Minimum wage of €1,700 euros monthly after tax;
- Auditing of business accounts.
This is the language held by Philippe Poutou, a worker at Ford and the NPA candidate for the presidential election.
Let’s not wait for the elections. What we can wish for 2017 is that it becomes the year of our victorious struggles!