On September 21: Let’s join the fight... and then keep fighting!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
18 September 2017

On September 12, hundreds of thousands of protesters marched against the government’s executive orders and the destruction of French labor legislation. This is clearly an incitement for others to join the fight.

There must be more workers answering the CGT’s call for a new “day of action” on September 21.

We are only witnessing the first episodes of the workers’ reaction against the government’s frontal assault. The wage freeze imposed on state employees, the increase of the CSG tax, the suppression of 150,000 subsidized jobs are merely the first of more attacks to come.

France’s prime minister has confirmed what’s on his agenda for 2018: after changing labor legislation, he’s going to “reform” unemployment benefits and retirement pensions.

Last summer, the government announced a five-euro cut in monthly housing benefits. Well it has just decided to also change the way in which this aid is calculated in order to save 1 billion euros. That sum will of course be taken out of the pockets of poorer people, who will be forced to devote a greater part of their income to their rent.

At the same time, the government is getting ready to lower the taxes that the bosses pay, especially in big companies: both company and wealth tax will be reduced. Saving money is obviously not a priority when it comes to giving tax breaks worth billions of euros to the richest classes in society! Macron and his cabinet are adamant to carry out the policy that capital owners expect from them. There is no reason for the bosses to stop asking for more!

Just like there was no reason for them to wait for the official implementation of the government’s measures to intensify their attacks on the workers’ living and working conditions or against their legal rights (by reducing the number of vacation days or work breaks for example).

In a day and age when the global economy is stuck in crisis, the capitalist class can only preserve its outrageous profits by over-exploiting the workers.

As long as the balance of power is in their favor, the bosses will continue to wage war on the workers and try to take back the few rights that they were obliged to give them in the past.

Last weekend, in some French towns, contingents totaling a few hundred policemen took to the streets. These wage earners in uniform wanted a bigger budget from the government . . . and they got it! Big capital owners have no qualms about this. They know that the government won’t ask them to foot the bill: the money is going to come from wage-earners in general.

We must make our voices heard if we don’t want to foot the bill for each and every gift the government makes to different social sectors!

A more and more provocative Macron has said that his reforms are only opposed by “lazy” people. He forgot that we are the class that makes society function and that, as such, we are strong enough to make him pull back. But to achieve this, we must all stand for our rights and fight together with utmost determination.

All those who are aware of the need to organize a counter-attack must convince their fellow workers to stop hesitating and to join the fight.

The protest day of September 21 must be a success. We must participate in greater numbers. The truck drivers', pensioners' and civil servants' unions have already issued calls to action.

We need a general mobilization of all those who are under attack: permanent and temporary workers, public and private sector employees, job-seekers and retirees.

We mustn’t accept the divisions that the bosses and their representatives try to create among us. Against the government and the bosses, we all have the same interests and we all have the same fight to sustain for our rights and living conditions.