Unions call for ‘strong mobilization’ on pensions on January 19 – Liberation

The eight main trade union unions have shown solidarity following Elisabeth Borne’s announcement that the legal leaving age should be pushed back to 64. According to them, “nothing can justify such cruel reforms”.

An immediate and above all unanimous response, a first in twelve years and the pension reform in 2010 signed Sarkozy-Fiyon. Representatives of France’s eight main trade unions (CFDT, CGT, FO, CGE-CGC, CFTC) spoke just an hour and a half after Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne approved the government’s plan to delay the legal retirement age from 62 to 64. , FSU, Unsa, Solidaires) are displayed together, Tuesday evening, at the Labor Exchange, a Parisian space symbolizing the social struggles that Solidaires propose and share. This meeting was short, and for good reason: the essentials were already established. The Prime Minister’s statements only confirmed the unanimous opposition to his project, even sprinkled with hardships, long careers or small pensions.

Under the lenses of numerous cameras, in a place fed by the high ceilings of the great room where everyone gathers to listen to the workers’ representatives, is Laurent Berger, the leader of the CFDT, the first trade union in France. The most vindictive press release reader was just admitted. The first day of holidays and demonstrations, no “The beginning of a strong long-term mobilization”, announced on Thursday, January 19, four days before the presentation of the project in the Cabinet of Ministers. Two days before the “march” organized by youth organizations and supported by the anti-reform La France insoumise (LFI). One way to remember that when it comes to social mobilization is the unions that dictate the pace and method. Not political parties. A sign of the importance of this moment: we will hear from Cyril Chabanier, president of the CFTC, a reformist association among reformers.“We will have to hit hard” on the street.

“Everyone Will Work Longer”

In a press release adopted by the Inter-Union, the reform is crushed: it “it will hit all workers hard, especially early starters, the most dangerous, those whose life expectancy is lower than the rest of the population and whose suffering is not recognized.”. He “It will aggravate the insecurity of those who are not in work before retirement and reinforce gender inequality.” short, “Nothing can justify such a brutal reform” After that, the trade union insists that “The payment system is not in danger.”

Union officials prepare such arguments to the journalists gathered around them: “3% deficit is nothing. Look! “Most of the private companies have more than 3% debt and this is not a problem.” launches Philippe Martinez, general secretary of the CGT, on several microphones. And measurements “social justice” offered by the government? “Social progress is not working more, but working less.” And long careers, exceptions saved for hardship? “If you’re racing, even those who don’t finish run longer when the finish line is further away” Remembering this, the CGT leader responds “Everyone will work harder”. Francois Hommeril, president of the CFE-CGC, explains why, contrary to what one might think, executives are also concerned: he quotes “bank manager who entered forty years ago, started at the counter at the age of 18”, “metallurgical manager who started as a worker”. In addition, they were able to collect a fourth place for women with children “Eligibility to withdraw from 42 annuities” 43 instead of: postponement of legal age, “destroys this advantage”.

Leapfrog hits

But what will happen now? Mobilization is being prepared for January 19 in administrative and district associations and in a number of sectors. We know that some, like transport or energy, can be strongly mobilized. And the unions have already planned to meet again on the evening of January 19 to discuss the rest. Journalist Filip Martinez has started a strike “leap”, criticized, including among trade unions: “It’s the workers who decide whether it’s a sheep, a cow or a bull. Ask a temp worker or freelancer to take a restorative vacation…” For now, the option is not on the table. “It’s like starting a football match. January 19 will be the fifth minute.” Solidaires spokesman Simon Duteil theorizes. Meanwhile, the trade union leader wants to believe that the history of previous reforms, in 2003 or 2010 and despite mass mobilizations, is not doomed to repeat itself: “We feel that this movement is very special. Our job is to mobilize workers out of anger.”

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