Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/410/4662

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 October 2005

French unions unite to protest and strike

A UNITED front of French trade union confederations (the first time since 1976) is organising a national day of action and strikes on Tuesday 4 October. This will be the third day of national action this year, at a time of growing concerns over wages, job security and privatisations.

Karl Debbaut, CWI

The trade unions have called demonstrations in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Montpellier. These demonstrations will attract thousands of people, and will be accompanied with strikes in the public sector and some private sector companies. Members of Gauche Rˇvolutionnaire (CWI in France) will take part in these protest actions.

The unions have denounced a rash of neo-liberal reforms introduced by the French government, under the guidance of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and Minister without portfolio, Nicolas Sarkozy. The government has, for example, introduced new two-year contracts for people working in firms with fewer than 20 employees. This has been done to undermine the rights of workers and make dismissals easier.

At the same time, there is much talk about tightening controls on welfare benefits, accelerating the privatisation of Gaz de France and Electricitˇ de France and selling three motorway toll companies to the private sector.

For Dominique de Villepin, (the new French Prime Minister who took over from his beleaguered party colleague Raffarin, when he tripped over the 'No' vote in the referendum over the European constitution), this strike is his first big test after four months in office.

He spent his first month making speeches in which he defended the 'French social model'. Nicolas Sarkozy, boss of the governing party, UMP, and Minister without portfolio, is a staunch neo-liberal. He is preparing his challenge to become the next French president with fierce attacks on workers' rights and benefits and public sector employment. This 'good cop', 'bad cop' act is now falling apart, as the trade unions step in to defend the rights of their members.


ON TUESDAY 27 September, French army 'elite' forces stormed a Corsican ferry at the centre of an anti-privatisation protest by French sailors.

30 sailors who had taken over the ferry as a protest were handcuffed, locked in the ship's cabins or forced to kneel on deck, and arrested for hijacking, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail.

The sailors were protesting against plans by the French government to sell a majority stake in the ferry company SNCM to a French investment company, Butler Capital Partners (BCP) which has threatened to sack up to 400 of the 2,400-strong workforce.

The dramatic display of force by the French state did not impress the workers in the ports of Marseille and Bastia.

In Bastia, riots broke out, and the police rushed in with 200 riot police. A battle with over 1,000 workers took place over four hours on Tuesday night.

The CGT union called a 24-hour strike in Marseille, which left France's largest port completely paralysed.

The workers then voted to extend the strike, leaving 28 large carriers stranded, and blocking access to a major petrochemicals complex and the key oil port of Fos-sur-Mer

The two union leaders involved in the ferry protest were released from jail on 30 September. They were placed under 'formal investigation' a step short of formal charges.

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


In The Socialist 6 October 2005:

Hands off our hospitals!

Why this year's Labour Party conference poses the need for a new workers' party

Come to Socialism 2005 - the forum for real debate

Tory Party fights for its survival

Global warming: Profit system guilty!

Scottish by-elections: Workers reject political establishment

China - new 'great power' or new revolution?

French unions unite to protest and strike

Why the IRA campaign failed to defeat the British state

Grudging acceptance of Gate Gourmet deal

New attack on council workers' pensions

Ten years ago - Liverpool dockers' strike


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 October 2005   |   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

Protest:

triangleProtesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime

triangleLeicester NHS protest

triangleMerseyrail protest

triangleBrum care workers protest council attacks

Unite:

triangleSadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

triangleLocal government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

triangleVictory for school cleaners!

Strike:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

triangleUni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

Unions:

triangleNHS - build the fightback

International

International

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

10/1/18

Iran

Movement challenges Iranian regime

10/1/18

Appeal

Appeal from Iranian independent unions

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