La cgt
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Publié le jeudi 26 mars 2009
19 MARCH 2009 DAY OF ACTION :

STRIKES AND DEMONSTRATIONS ON AN IMPRESSIVE SCALE THROUGHOUT FRANCE



This second day of industrial action organised in unity by all French union organisations is a resounding success. Although the previous day of action – 29 January – had been exceptional, there were more demonstrations, strikes and many more people on the streets than on the previous occasion.

Three million participants in 213 demonstrations

This mobilisation brought together millions of young and older employees, whether from the public or private sectors, on the issue of employment, purchasing power, social protection…

Once again, the success of the day of action was partially due to unity by all French unions ; it contributed to reinforcing the balance of power and strengthening employees’ determination to put forward their demands.

This day of action was the high point of a social climate that is nurtured by struggles at firm level. Mobilisation has reached a new scale, and the government and employers should pause and listen.

How could anyone pretend to ignore a mobilisation that received the support of nearly 80% of the French population ?

Certainly not by accusing strikers and demonstrators of expediency, as did the President of the employers’ organisation (MEDEF).

Certainly not by making French employees feel guilty, since trade union action is taking place in several European countries. Certainly not by sticking to economic and social policies that are increasingly challenged.

Certainly not by counting on division, loss of impetus and provocation.
To deny the growing scope of this movement would mean taking on a hefty responsibility that would have repercussions on the social climate in France.

The united platform carried forward by the unions should lead – straightaway – to serious negotiations, involving both government and employers.

This demand must be carried forward, through broader local actions. Boosted by the two days of actions of 29 January and 19 March, employees have the right to expect positive results on pay, employment, working conditions, at all levels.

On 20 March, the joint union platform will meet to examine future coordinated, cross-sector initiatives. The CGT will play its part and contribute to further nurturing the dynamics of trade union unity.

In this period that is heavy with challenges for employees, the trade union movement needs strengthening, and the desire for affiliation to the CGT that was apparent throughout the demonstration can contribute to it.

Montreuil, 19 March 2009-03-23

Mobilisation in Europe

After demonstrations in Dublin, Lisbon, Lithuania and Iceland, more trade union demonstrations are planned on 28 March in London, 2 April in Athens, 4 April in Rome, then European-wide demonstrations will be held on 14 May in Brussels, 15 May in Madrid and 16 May both in Berlin and Prague.