The first round of the regional elections will take place next Sunday. These elections will give workers the opportunity to express the needs and demands of their social class. Workers must seize the opportunity to do so.
These elections cannot change the future of workers. It is in the workplace that they can change their fate, through struggles that impose on the bosses a balance of power that favors the workers. Lutte ouvrière is presenting working-class candidates throughout the country so that the choice open to workers, the unemployed, working-class youth and pensioners is not limited to either voting for political parties that defend the current social order or remaining silent by abstaining from the vote altogether. They will be able to vote for Lutte ouvrière so that their demands and political interests be heard.
All workers need a job to live. All workers must be able to work. All jobs must be maintained and temporary and contract workers mustn’t be let go. And when there is less work to be done, the workload must be shared out among all, production rates must be slowed down and work hours reduced all without any loss to wages.
Macron and his ministers like to tell us that it should pay to work. But millions of employees are paid minimum wage – less than 1,200 euros per month after taxes – and many others only have part-time jobs. Any profit made must be used to increase wages, benefits and pensions. And, since prices are going up, wages must be indexed on inflation.
The pandemic has been a blessing to many capitalists. Amazon, Google and the major supermarket chains, like Carrefour and Auchan, have used the health crisis to their advantage to increase profits. Bosses lie and blackmail workers into believing that it’s impossible to raise wages. Therefore, workers need to audit and take control over company accounts.
Bosses say that raising wages goes against the laws of business competitiveness. But such laws aren’t laws of nature: they only benefit the bourgeoisie and they are leading all of society to disaster. We shouldn’t be afraid to contest the laws of capitalism. Society can indeed function on a different basis.
Our whole society is dominated and controlled by big business which only ever cares about the interests of shareholders. It isn’t a question of individual greed; it’s the logic of a system which pushes capitalists to accumulate wealth. In order to stay on top, one must be greedier, more avaricious and make more money than one's competitors even if that means more people out of work and greater poverty. In terms of society in general, capitalists are utterly irresponsible.
For the laboring classes, it’s the exact opposite. We have witnessed just how responsible workers have been throughout the health crisis. We shouldn't forget how healthcare workers, farm laborers, cashiers, garbage collectors and construction workers held their posts, despite their fear, with so much dedication. And workers have taken so many initiatives, showing solidarity in working-class neighborhoods, distributing food and books or sewing masks.
The working class has no other interests than those of the overwhelming majority of the population. When hospital staff fight against bed closures and for better working conditions, when transport workers fight so that bosses don’t skimp on maintenance or so that their companies aren’t sold to private owners who only seek to make money, they are fighting for all those who use such services. When workers fight against being laid off or to prevent factories from closing down, they are fighting not only for themselves but also against unemployment in general. In fact, workers are the only ones who fight against unemployment and they are in fact the only ones who fight for all of us!
Voting for Lutte ouvrière in the upcoming regional elections is a way of affirming that workers are the ones who make society run and that they are capable of running it. There will inevitably be massive social protests in the future but, before that happens, class consciousness must grow. Casting a vote for Lutte ouvrière in order to make working-class interests be heard is a simple way of helping make that happen.