Work Law, Competitiveness Agreements, Reorganizations: Reversing the Balance of Power Between Workers and Employers – Yes We Can!

Since last week, the mobilization against the Work law is not measured just in number of demonstrators but also in the number of sectors and companies on strike. This week, the RATP (Paris public transportation) should join the railway workers, refinery workers and electricians… Despite an intense campaign of disinformation, two-thirds of the population believe that the government is responsible for the situation. What the government calls “blockages” are real strikes, involving thousands of workers, not a handful of union militants!

For now, the government has not backed down on the main aspects of the law, but the struggle has already borne some “collateral” fruit: Hollande just cancelled the decrease in research budgets while Valls promised the truckers that the law will not decrease overtime pay…

The Government cracks; Hollande, Valls, and Gattaz stand tall

Some advocate for compromise: “rebel” members of parliament and others as well as the Finance Minister Michel Sapin. Even the former head of the Medef, Laurence Parisot! What made all these people “think”, is the consciousness that workers may, if they decide to, paralyze the whole economy.

But “I will hold tight”, boasted Hollande from Japan on May 27. “I consider that my responsibility is to keep going to the end”, said Valls on May 28, making the same point as the head of the Medef, Gattaz, in Le Monde dated May 31. Workers will have to make them swallow their arrogance.

Work law, Base decree, Hirsh plan, unemployment benefits: “they pull all the stops!

This Bill represents everything that many workers have to endure and that the Work law would sanction and extend to everyone. It is only one component of an attack plan from employers and the government.

In hospitals around Paris, the Work law is called Plan Hirsh. And across all hospitals, this means creating “hospital clusters” to close units and cut jobs. A disaster looms.

At the Post Office, reorganizations multiply, resulting in longer workdays and less leave.

At the National Railways, the Work Act is called base decree, against which the railway workers are fighting.

Public servants are in the crosshairs of a new report just handed to Valls about the “extra” 15 days of leave that, allegedly, they enjoy. Clearly, public servants are the next target.

At Renault not satisfied with the competitiveness agreement he just imposed, Carlos Ghosn now wants a “hyper-competitiveness” agreement… while at PSA the announcement of a new “competitiveness plan” caused some work stoppages last week…

Government and Medef have obviously not forgotten the unemployed: El Khomri took over the bosses’ request to gradually decrease unemployment benefits, which may well happen starting July 1st. As the saying goes, “they pull all the stops!”

… So, let ourselves go!

The mobilization against the Work law is unwavering and strikes break out, like in savings banks. It is actually the same fight against different components of the bosses’ offensive. Employees, workers, postal workers, railway workers, hospital employees, local and State public servants, unemployed – the refusal of the Work law should allow all the struggles to converge: once such a generalization of the fights is achieved, victory will be close!

Provided that we do not allow unions to weaken. Provided that we do not leave by themselves those who are already on strike, that we continue the mobilization and extend it.

Starting this week, let’s join the planned demonstrations on June 2, without waiting for those of June 14. The working class has never, in recent years, been so close to be able to reverse the balance of power with the bosses.