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Publié le mardi 24 avril 2007

Mobilisation for social progress



The first round of the presidential election on 22 April 2007 has been mainly marked by a sharp increase in the number of registered voters, and a very high turnout.

In this context of generalised social discontent – with many union mobilisations taking place – this weekend’s vote shows that workers, the unemployed and pensioners increasing want to be involved in choices that will underpin their future and that of French society at large.

Such democratic vitality, which the CGT has contributed to, brings hope.
The setback suffered by Jean-Marie Le Pen, both in absolute and real terms, is a positive sign. But the CGT remains concerned that his theories will be taken up and applied by other political parties.

The prevailing social climate in this electoral campaign comes as no surprise. Over the last few years, the CGT has relentlessly taken action against government decisions that further casualised employment (e.g. first job contract, new employment contract), thus increasing social inequalities, jeopardising purchasing power and infringing on democratic freedoms.

At the end of the first round, the meaning and content of the policies that will be implemented remain unclear.

At this stage, the CGT wants to warn, once again, workers against the possibility, after the elections, of an incoming government that is totally sold on to an ultraliberal vision of society and the economy. Whilst workers and their freedoms would fall victims, the employers’ organisation’ stance and ambitions would be greatly increased.
As a tool for workers to take action and defend their rights, the trade union movement may well become the target of large-scale attacks. Society does not need more competition or individualism ; it needs more solidarity and social justice.
As an organisation fighting for social progress in France, in Europe and world-wide, independent from government, political parties and corporate management, the CGT is firmly opposed to any restrictions on trade union freedoms and the constitutional right to strike.

Quite obviously, the vast majority of citizens aspire to radical changes in the definition of our country’s economic and social policies.

In the area of employment, purchasing power, working conditions, pension rights, as well as access to fundamental rights regarding health, housing, transport, energy, education and culture, reforms aimed at full employment, social progress and democracy are necessary, and possible.

Both candidates must respond to these demands and citizens can influence these discussions.

The CGT calls upon workers :

  • To mobilise massively on May Day, and express their social demands ;
  • To achieve broad unity and ensure success for the 218 May Day rallies and demonstrations organised throughout France ;
  • To vote massively in the second round of the Presidential elections.