Published 27/01/2023 15:21 | Edited 01/28/2023 11:59 AM
Amidst the potentially endless debates raised by the Macron government’s pension reform project, at least one truth prevailed: the inter-union union of the eight main workers’ organizations (1) and five youth organizations (2) dealt a severe blow to the government. .
The expectation, now, is for the stoppages of January 31st. After the first day of mobilization, the inter-union – which brings together CFDT, CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC, UNSA, Solidaires and FSU – wants a new mass success to pressure the government to abandon its pension reform plan, which increases the retirement age from 60 to 64.
The mobilization of Thursday (19) across France was, in general opinion, a success for union unity. While the text of the Social Security Reform arrives, Monday (30), at the Macron Government’s Council of Ministers, opponents fine-tune their strategies.
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It doesn’t matter if there were 1.12 million protesters (as the Interior claims) or 2 million (as the unions say): there is no one to minimize the action”, admits a government communicator. Several youth demonstrations, co-organized by France Insubmissa (LFI), are planned for this Saturday in Paris.
In the days following January 19, several more strikes were carried out. Until this Thursday (26), there were energy losses with reduction in nuclear power plants. Oil refineries also reduced deliveries.
Disapproval and unpopularity
The executive hopes to complete the review of his reform in fifty days in Parliament. The aim of the unions and the united left is to make this tight schedule unfeasible.
Read also: French prepare strike against Macron’s pension reform
This Friday morning, the main CGT federations met to take stock, but the president of the CR underlined that “in a hypothesis we return to balance in 2045 and in the hypothesis that serves as a reference in the framework of the reform, the deficit will persist by 2070”.
The French are increasingly numerous in their disapproval of the pension reform project, with 72% according to a survey by the Elabe institute published on Wednesday, January 25th. Despite his educational efforts, the executive appears to have lost the battle of public opinion.
This opposition is all the more significant as retirees form the heart of the President of the Republic’s electorate. People over 60 voted for Emmanuel Macron in the presidential elections.
Losing the support of this part of the population is a real cause for concern for the authorities. If retirees and younger people mobilize, an opposition movement could shake it.
Read also: Against inflation, general strike for France and surprises Macron government
Do not transport
Starting with transport, the SNCF unions have already made it known that they would register “on the confederate dates with all workers”. from mid-February. Strikes may also occur even earlier in the sector.
In a joint press release, CGT-Cheminots and SUD Rail confirmed their call for a strong mobilization next Tuesday. The two unions also mentioned two ways forward after January 31st, i.e. two consecutive strike days on February 7th and 8th or a renewable strike from
The risk of a renewable strike is palpable, since the unions “agreed to meet again from February 1st to agree on the follow-up to be given”.
The unions at Paris Charles-de-Gaulle airport have agreed to a strike for January 31st.
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“We are 100,000 employees at the airport. If you block the airport, you block the economy”, guarantees RMC Loris Foreman, CGT delegate in a third-party company in Roissy.
But mobilization promises to be difficult due to the admission of the unions themselves in this context of inflation where each day of strikes penalizes purchasing power.
in ski resorts
A few days before departures for the ski holidays (February 4th for zone A), it is the resorts that may suffer from mobilization. The two main trade unions for cable car workers, Force Ouvrière (FO) and CGT, have indeed issued strike notices for 31 January. A movement that should not continue beyond next Tuesday.
In National Education, unions also call for mobilization for January 31st. The SNALC (National Union of Education Professionals) responded favorably to the strike call and SUD Education is even proposing a renewal of the strike after January 31st. But this is a minority union.
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In the energy area, it should also be noted that the CGT Mines-Énergies threatens targeted power cuts of one or two hours until January 31st.