Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/304/13752

From The Socialist newspaper, 14 June 2003

France - millions keep up strike movement

STRIKES AND protest actions are continuing across France on a daily basis, against the Raffarin government's pension 'reform' plans. Following strike mobilisations of two million workers on 13 May and 1.5 million on 3 June, another major day of action took place on 10 June when the pension plans were presented to parliament.

Judy Beishon

Although the overall number on strike was less on 3 June than on 13 May, there were more private sector workers involved, and some cities, such as Marseille and Rouen, had their largest demonstrations yet.

In between these large actions there are strikes every day in many areas and sectors, such as in transport, health and education together with demonstrations outside town halls and offices of the bosses' organisation, Medef. Staff in many schools and colleges have been on continuous strike for up to two months; 3,000 schools and colleges took strike action on 5 June alone.

Under the movement's pressure, the government is postponing its education decentralisation plans. But education workers want them withdrawn completely, and still faced with government intransigence over pensions, cross-sector workers' protests are increasingly angry. A wide variety of initiatives - occupations and blockades of roads, transport depots and railway lines - are being taken.

In Rouen on 6 June, 800 activists built early morning bonfires to partially block roundabouts in the city's industrial area. They leafleted the long queues of traffic that formed, explaining why they were taking the action. Striking teachers handed out 'why I am late' notes for the drivers to give to their employers!

On 5 June, all 17 roads into Toulouse were blockaded by workers, bringing commercial activity to a virtual halt. On 6 June, 50 angry teachers at a college in Nantes held captive for two hours two representatives of the UMP, the right-wing ruling government party, who'd gone to officially open a new hall. "Their arrival was a provocation," a teacher explained.

The call for a general strike is loud and clear in trade union contingents on the demonstrations, but the union federation leaders have been desperate to avoid such a confrontation with the government. However, the pressure from below has now forced two of the main union federations - FO and SUD - to belatedly back the call for a general strike.

The need for an indefinite united public-private sector general strike is urgent, as the government is standing firm in the face of actions by different sections of workers on different days, interspersed with one-day more united mobilisations that have not yet involved a majority from the private sector.

Although the mood and determination of a layer of activists has hardened, this is unfortunately alongside signs of fatigue and disillusionment by others caused by the union leaders' strategy of disparate, drawn-out action.

A general strike, carefully prepared for by the rank and file strike committees and the union leaders, is the next step needed in the movement and the only sure way to win a fast victory and force Raffarin to withdraw all his 'reforms'. Without a general strike, the outcome of this widespread struggle is in the balance, though with important experiences being gained along the way.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 14 June 2003:

New Labour Isn't Working

Fighting For A Living Wage

Euro debate - independent workers' struggle needed

Iraq: Occupiers, Privatisers And Exploiters

France - millions keep up strike movement

Drop All Charges Against Day X Detainees

Tony Woodley Speaks To The Socialist

Unison And The Political Fund

Left Make Gains On Unison Executive

PCS Elections - Big Opportunities For The Left

Manchester: Electricians Fight De-Skilling

Dick Turpin rides again

Blair's Lies Sow Divisions At The Top

Bush's plan for an Israeli/Palestinian conflict settlement comes unstuck

Austria Over One Million Strike Against Pension Cuts

Iran 1978-79: A Revolution Stolen From The Working Class


 

Home   |   The Socialist 14 June 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

France:

triangleFrench Labour reform protests

triangleFrench elections: Macron's win

triangleFrench elections: time to build a fighting left alternative

triangleFrance - Huge voter abstention belies Macron's 'landslide' election

triangleFrance: Macron won't solve economic & social crises

Strike:

triangleDriving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

triangleTeachers strike in Sheffield

triangleDramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

Government:

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

triangleNationalise rail now

Union:

triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

trianglePCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

International

International

6/12/17

US

Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

6/12/17

Ireland

Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core

6/12/17

Women

Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

22/11/17

US

Trump's tax attacks

22/11/17

Australia

Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

21/11/17

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

15/11/17

Minneapolis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

10/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

8/11/17

Sweden

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success

8/11/17

Spain

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

8/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

31/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Rajoy's furious response to proclamation of Republic

25/10/17

Kurdistan

Kurdish referendum declared illegal

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2