Night and Day: Workers, Standing!

Hollande’s appearance on TV last Thursday attracted fewer people than the crime series Falco… Anyway, all he said of the work Act is that it is maintained. Those who did not watch the presidential contortions have therefore not missed much!

There is plenty of money, just look in Panama.

They are not ashamed, after the “Panama papers” have uncovered one hand of organised crime, that of the rich. As to the so-called “Work” law, it aims at legalising employers violations, allowing them to lay off against payment of a very small indemnity in case of illegal dismissal.

The anger is still there, we must prepare the next step

The “Nuit Debout” (Standing Up at Night) movement spread throughout the country, keeping the pressure on while most university and high school students are on vacation or in exam period.

Union leaders call for a new day of strikes and demonstrations on April 28. We must seize this opportunity and be as many as possible. But spaced out days of action will not be enough to make the government move backward. We must not just wait for this new action day. We must, like the students, organize mobilization committees, coordinate between teams willing to prepare the fight seriously, recruit those who are still hesitant.

In 1968, students gave the kickoff, but it is the general strike that had scared a supposedly “strong” government, even forcing De Gaulle to scarper in Germany. We must make the employers and the government fear workers once again. So let’s make sure the bosses and their government get what they deserve, let’s make them swallow their contempt and their despicable law. The world will change when workers raise their heads!

A month and a half into the movement against the El Khomri law:

They haven’t given up yet… neither have we!

The movement against the El Khomri Bill has so far not produced the social outburst that this attack should deserve. Still, the political atmosphere has changed. It had been recently dominated by the whims of the far right, amplified by politicians on left and on the right, as well as some noisy populists who relayed these ideas in the popular media. Now, we hear more about exploitation, redundancies, precariousness. In short, about our living conditions, and the recent attacks in Brussels have not changed this.

At the moment workers have not engaged enough force in this movement to make the government give in. The government knows it and seeks – by making some small changes to the Act and a few promises to young people – to muddy the waters and avoid awakening this force. Even if that makes the president of the Medef (bosses’ union), Pierre Gattaz, whine, or pretend to. Nevertheless, for the moment, they can do nothing about the change of atmosphere, the students movement, or the “Nuit Debout.”

What are the opposing forces?

On one side, stands the government, all in the service of the Medef, the real opponent in this struggle. And, incidentally, on the same side, a few trade union directorates such as the CFDT who outright abandoned the movement.

On the other side, in the movement, there are union branches that still display their opposition to the law, like the CGT, but only offer more and more spaced out days of actions, leaving students by themselves between these days. The least that can be said is that they seem not to do everything to push for the social explosion feared by the employers and the government.

The bulk of the decisive forces, those of all employees, still has to engage

Finally, there are those who form the social and political basis of this anti-establishment groundswell: the living movement of youth and employees, determined to send this law to the bin. And, in its midst, the militant minorities who are doing everything to expand the movement, the few sectors who are ready to engage in a deeper struggle.

The number of protesters is still significant, the demonstrators and strikers are proud of what they do and they absolutely do not consider the fight to be over.

The working class has only thrown a few of its forces into this movement. Yet, evidenced by the discussions in the workplace, there is a combative ambiance against the El Khomri Bill, not resignation. There are still millions of workers to convince that the movement must widen and deepen into a strike that becomes general.

Let’s not give up anything, so that the change of atmosphere, the air of spring, the nights standing, do not remain superficial and passing changes but result in a real change in the balance of power.