Valls Draws His 49-3…But We Have the Bigger Weapon

Having barely started, the debate on the Work law and its 5,000 amendments was stopped. Just before 4:00 pm today, the Prime Minister announced that he would use the 49-3 article of the constitution, allowing him to enact the law without any debate or vote. Following the announcement, tear gas was used against protesters outside parliament, while phony debates went on indoors. Conservative members of parliament announced a motion of censure. Funny, coming from those who are actually real supporters of this anti-worker legislation that big business and the Medef (bosses’ union) ordered the government to pass. The Socialist Party “rebels”, who tried to save their political (and electoral) future by not compromising themselves supporting the government, probably won’t be compromising themselves by voting against it either. That is the parliamentary theatre.

But to derail this anti-worker legislation, to defend our rights and make them better, to end austerity, wage freezes, and layoffs, it is our turn to act.

The Act may be passed thanks to the 49-3, but this does not mean that Valls and the Medef can get away with it. Instead this can only increase the anger. And remember that in 2006 Chirac had to withdraw his “first job contract” because the mobilization of youth and employees, even after using the 49-3 to impose it and after having enacted the law.

“True democracy is right here” have often chanted the young people in the protests against the Work law that have been held for more than two months.

Yes, when the working class and the young people get involved in the matters that affect them, by going in the streets, by striking, by organizing themselves, by studying the dirty tricks that the governments and the bosses are preparing against us, and by considering how to respond, things become truly more democratic.

Involvement is much better than leaving our fate in the hands of our so-called representatives that we supposedly elected four years ago from the various candidates aspiring to manage the businesses of the bourgeoisie. Our rulers’ “democracy” decidedly smells of tear gas and tastes like batons and repression. Look for violence and thugs on the side of the powerful: on the side of the Medef and its government.

How to win?

Of course, to get rid of this anti-worker law, the mobilisation will have to become stronger. Beyond spaced out action days, broad sectors of the working class should start striking, to threaten the businesses of the Medef’s bosses and their bottom line.

Today, railway workers were again in the streets of Paris to protest against the attacks by the government and their direction (the so-called “base decree stand”, their equivalent of the Work law). But after the 24-hour strikes of March 9, March 31, April 26, many of them say that it is about time to move up a gear and that accumulating spaced out strike days won’t be enough. Except that this falls on the deaf ears of their union directions.

Truckers are called by their unions, CGT and FO, to an indefinite strike from May 16. Demonstrations are planned on May 12 by trade unions.

Yes, we must continue to mobilize against the Work law, seize every opportunity to make ourselves heard, and prepare the next move.

The experience accumulated during the two months of mobilisations will be invaluable

It is by fighting all together, by joining the mobilization of all sectors, public and private, of youth and workers, that we can gather enough force. It is by organising at the rank and file, and by coordinating with each other that we can win. Students who made contact with workers are a perfect example of this.

The Nuits Debout (Up All Night) movement that developed in many cities across the country, even in small cities, have maintained the protests alive, night after night since March 31. But they also allow to gather everyone who wants to make the government take down the Work law. They could serve as a framework to prepare for the fight. The necessary convergence of the fights is within our reach.