Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/534/4138

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 May 2008

France: Workers and youth resist Sarkozy's attacks

SCHOOL STUDENTS have been leading the fight against education cuts in France. And on 15 May they were joined by around 300,000 education and public-sector workers on demonstrations across the country.

Manny Thain

There is widespread anger at the attacks planned by the right-wing government of president Nicolas Sarkozy and prime minister François Fillon. They aim to 'streamline' the civil service (with large-scale job cuts), want 11,200 job losses in education (the long-term aim is 80,000), are undermining state pension provision, and introducing higher healthcare costs among other measures.

Le Monde newspaper reported that 35,000 education workers, parents and students protested in Paris on 18 May. This is a hard-line government, however, with education minister, Xavier Darcos, ruling out any changes "whatever the size of the demos".

The school student protests are also against changes to the baccalaureate system, which will mean that school leavers will have lower qualifications and so worse jobs on less pay. And the sports minister, Bernard Laporte, wants to impose 100 hours of unpaid 'civic service' work on those aged 18-25. Once again, the government is targeting youth as a stepping stone to attacks on the wider working class.

Sarkozy and Fillon want to bring France into line with the neo-liberal world of privatisation and deregulation. To do that, they have to break the power of the working class. So, part and parcel of this offensive is targeting trade union rights.

Sarkozy and Fillon want to impose a 'minimum service provision' in education, forcing schools to open even during a strike. Education workers are also to be made to give 48 hours notice of strike action. If this is implemented, it would be only a matter of time before it is imposed on other sectors.

French workers are renowned for taking sudden strike action, a powerful weapon in the defence of jobs, wages and working conditions. The lengthy and cumbersome balloting procedure which delays and even stops action in Britain is unknown in France.

Militancy

The main union federations are meeting this week to discuss their strategy. Up to now, however, they have dragged their feet, bringing out one sector followed by another. Under mass pressure, the 15 May strike brought education workers together with others, such as health workers and civil servants.

Another public-sector 'day of action and demonstrations' has been called for 22 May, against the plan to raise the eligibility for a full pension from 40 years' contributions to 41. For many, that means a 24-hour strike. The rail workers' unions have called their members out on that day.

Also, there have been many individual factory strikes against job cuts, some of which have been bitter battles. And, last weekend and into this week, ports around France ground to a standstill as fishermen struck and blockaded ports in protest at the rising price of fuel.

This year, therefore, has shown clearly that the mood for militant action exists. And this is just a year after Sarkozy became president, promising a bright future, while vowing to eradicate the revolutionary legacy of May 1968, and 'reform' (cut back) the state sector. The thin veneer of hope that he might deliver positive change has worn away and his party was hammered in local elections a month ago.

The government's intentions are clear. So the strategy for the workers' movement has to be to build a massive, united movement. Initially, that would require a 24-hour strike of all workers, public and private sector, all of whom are affected by attacks on pensions, public services and union rights.

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


In The Socialist 21 May 2008:

Step Up Fight Against Low Pay!

Force more u-turns out of this weak government


Housing crisis

Build Affordable Homes Now!


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison members say 'no' to witch hunt

Reasons to be cheerful about the trade unions

Public-sector workers say pay up!

National Shop Stewards Network second conference advert


Socialist Party campaigns

Give us back our Post Office!

Fightback saves Cardiff school

Southampton students: 'Don't gag us'

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

Glasgow: BNP not welcome here

100% rise for health bosses

Global food crisis

Them and Us: The great divide


Environment: Nuclear power

Nuclear industry's 'green' camouflage


London Olympics

London Olympics 2012: A great sporting occasion and a great profit-making opportunity


France 1968 - month of revolution

France 1968: Be realistic - demand the impossible!

International discussion on the way forward for socialists

Video: 'France 1968, month of revolution' London meeting

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference


International socialist news and analysis

China: Earthquake disaster exposes regime's failings

Lebanon: Hezbollah routs pro-US Siniora government forces

Ireland: Vote no to Lisbon Treaty and EU militarisation!

France: Workers and youth resist Sarkozy's attacks


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 May 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

France:

triangleFrance: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleFrench Labour reform protests

triangleFrench elections: Macron's win

triangleFrench elections: time to build a fighting left alternative

Youth:

triangleTamil youth march for justice

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: Solidarity with the revolt of workers and youth in Iran

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

triangle4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

Education:

triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

triangleFailing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

triangleLecturers vote for strikes against pension cuts

Strike:

triangleGerman engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

triangleNewham academies strike continues with three schools to strike together

Working class:

triangleBuilding the campaign against clearances of the working class

Students:

triangleLeicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!

Nicolas Sarkozy:

triangleFrance: Burkini ban fuels division

International

International

21/2/18

Russia

Russia: Ali Feruz, journalist and human rights activist, freed from jail

21/2/18

South Africa

South Africa: Ramaphosa is a safe pair of hands for capitalism

14/2/18

France

France: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people

14/2/18

Unemployed

Big political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

14/2/18

Brazil

Brazil: Lula conviction confirmed

14/2/18

South Africa

Cape Town drought

7/2/18

China

May's silence is a green light for Chinese repression

7/2/18

Tamil Solidarity

Protesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime

7/2/18

Sudan

Sudan: Mohamed Satti released - global solidarity campaign gets results!

31/1/18

Kurds

Stop the war on the Kurds

31/1/18

Austria

Vienna: 50,000 march against racism and austerity

31/1/18

Kurds

Stop the war on the Kurds

24/1/18

Palestine

Punishment of Tamimi family awakens wave of international solidarity

17/1/18

Hong Kong

Stop repression in Hong Kong and China

17/1/18

Tunisia

Tunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

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: 0191 421 6230

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


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999