On Saturday, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in thirty cities to protest violence against women. Their anger at the government’s inaction and lack of resources in the face of domestic violence and feminicide adds to the anger of young people against precariousness, of hospital staff against understaffing and low wages, of Yellow Jackets against the high cost of living and of all those, more and more numerous, who are fed up with this system that serves the rich. All these angers could very well join with the mobilisation against the break-up of pensions on December 5. Including women’s pensions, with a point system that will penalise part-time work and gaps in employment, directly affecting women. This “crystallisation” of anger, as the government fears, is what we must build.
A common enemy: Macron and his government
Macron claims he can “defuse” the situation with a mixture of “communication tools” (the new name for the government’s propaganda) and threats against demonstrators.
All he has to do is to make this mobilisation appear to be “corporatist“, aimed at “preserving inequalities“, that is, the mobilisation is only about “preventing the end of special regimes“. As if inequalities did not come from the capitalist system itself. The only privileged people are the rich, who benefit from the reforms of this government as well as the previous ones, with social inequalities that have been on the rise for the past 10 years, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies’ recent “social picture”.
Are all these angers unrelated, as Macron would like to believe? Quite the contrary! They all express revulsion to this government for the super-rich, which is cutting jobs and resources in public services, attacking pensions and the unemployed, and ordering its police to repress those who protest, as during the Yellow Jackets anniversary on November16. The police turned the Paris demonstration into a giant trap, then gassed all those present… and finally denounce so-called “troublemakers”.
No way we’re working longer!
With the point system pensions, all workers will lose. Macron is surprised that a massive mobilisation is being prepared “against a reform whose exact terms are still unknown“. Well, that’s good! Because the reform’s objective is well known: to make us work longer for a reduced pension.
Faced with a large scale mobilisation, the government hesitates. The employers themselves, behind the president of the Medef (the bosses’ union), Roux de Bézieux, advised Macron to postpone his plan of a point system and be satisfied with an increase in the contribution period. Same with the Pension Orientation Council (COR), which published a new report and advocates a more traditional reform. None of this is acceptable to us!
Especially since the same COR report shows that pension spending as a proportion of wealth produced will not increase by 2030, despite the ageing of the population. The reason the deficit is growing is because of declining revenues. So, it is necessary to take from profits, which are constantly increasing, to increase wages, ban layoffs and job cuts, and hire massively to support public services. Such a plan would make it possible to adapt pension fund revenues to the needs.
Several trade union confederations are calling for a day of strike action in all sectors on December 5. Driven by the anger of their base, the unions for Paris public transport (RATP) and the railways (SNCF) even called for the strike to continue the following days.
So let’s not give up anything, and prepare for December 5 and after. Let’s organize ourselves from the rank and file, as the Yellow Jackets and emergency room staff have begun to do. Let’s coordinate all our forces.
Macron has sown hatred in all industries. May he reap the social storm he fears so much.