Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://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 But education workers want them withdrawn completely, and still faced with government intransigence over pensions, cross-sector workers' protests are increasingly angry.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:

triangleFrance in revolt

triangleFrance: mass demonstrations force president to back down

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: France - the Gilets Jaunes eruption

Strike:

triangleUCU Wales suspends FE strike action

triangleVeolia waste workers vote for action in Cheshire

triangleStrike action saves jobs at Cammell Laird shipyard

triangleMidwives go on strike in New Zealand

Government:

triangleCorbyn supporter wins Welsh Labour leadership

triangleInterserve debts

triangleCuts and NHS crisis result in 'excess' elderly deaths

Union:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleSpontaneous hull walkouts stick two fingers up at Tory anti-trade union laws

General strike:

triangleLibres y Combativas: striking for women's rights in the Spanish state

International

International

12/12/18

France

France in revolt

5/12/18

Iran

Workers defy brutal Iran regime

5/12/18

Midwives

Midwives go on strike in New Zealand

5/12/18

France

France: mass demonstrations force president to back down

28/11/18

Iran

Workers at the forefront of the new wave of protests in Iran

28/11/18

US

San Francisco Bay Area's toxic smoke crisis and capitalism's mismanagement

28/11/18

France

Eyewitness: French protesters seize streets against President Macron

21/11/18

US

How can Trump be defeated?

21/11/18

Sri Lanka

Political turmoil in Sri Lanka

21/11/18

Spanish state

Over one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education

14/11/18

US

US midterms: Republicans weakened - but workers' fightback needed to end Trumpism

7/11/18

Sexual harassment

Worldwide walkout at Google against sexual harassment

7/11/18

CWI

CWI news in brief

7/11/18

Antisemitism

Pittsburgh Synagogue shootings: Unite to fight anti-Semitism and far right

31/10/18

Brazil

Bolsonaro - a threat to Brazil's workers and all oppressed people

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999