223,000 demonstrators according to the police, 500,000 according to union confederations: September 12’s mobilisation was a success. People were certainly more resolute after Macron’s display of contempt, declaring he would not give in to “lazy people, cynical people, nor extremists”. Macron plays the role of a self-righteous head of state, ready to force his policy through. But watch for a reaction and the anger of the working class.
The government’s full-scale attack
The government’s strategy is to multiply anti-workers attacks and hope we won’t react. There are rulings against the labor laws, to make layoffs easier, decrease wages and allow more job insecurity. The government is cutting 150,000 assisted jobs that were very useful to schools and other public services. There are also attacks against the poor, with cuts in individual housing assistance. Social security contributions will increase, too, and weigh even more on wages and pensions. Finally, public sector wages keep being frozen, and the first day on sick leave will be unpaid.
At the same time, the government is very generous with the employers and the rich. Wealth tax is decreased. Corporate tax also drops, from 33% to 25%, to compensate for the abolition of the competitiveness and job creation tax break. The Economy minister also announced a fixed levy on capital profits that allows annuitant to save on income tax. Then, the increase in military budget will put more money in arms dealers’ pockets; while the Olympic games will fill the pockets of construction magnates. With all those gifts to the rich, the new “Work Law” – which will allow the bosses to exploit workers even more and make record profits – is even more revolting.
Let’s join forces to prepare for a major strike movement!
That’s plenty of reasons for us to be angry, and to join the strikes and demonstrations on September 21st, even more numerous than on the 12th. We should also prepare what’s next, by discussing our demands, how to organize ourselves, how to convince our colleagues who still think nothing can be done to join our movement.
Against all the attacks from the government and the bosses, we need to develop a mobilization plan. A plan to bring together the strength of all workers. A few days of actions won’t be enough. To reverse the balance of power, we will need a real strike, attacking the bosses’ wallet and giving ourselves the means to build a fight together.
The power of the workers is in our numbers
After the 21st, different industries are called to mobilize on different days: truckers on September 25th, the retired on the 28th, public services on October 10th. There has also been strikes by teachers faced with dramatic understaffing and lack of facilities. And Deliveroo’s bikers have mobilized. With their “self-employed” status, their jobs are as insecure as those of employees, and they started to mobilize to fight decreased earnings. They won’t stop now.
So yes! Everywhere, we have strong reason to mobilize. And if we’re hit by different measure in different industries, these are the local aspects of the same general attack led by the bosses and the government against the working class. That’s why we must join our anger, mobilize all together and bring together our forces. We can win through a global mobilization and through strikes that will make them regret their contempt.