As the vote for the European parliament on May 26 approaches, Macron and Le Pen are putting on a show. On one side are the “pro-European progressives” and on the other the “anti-Brussels” supporters. But what’s being played as a duel is in fact a duet: both sides are working for the same impresario as - big business.
When Macron’s followers talk of social Europe, it’s indecent when you look at their politics. It took months of yellow-vest protests just to get retirement pensions linked to inflation again! The European Union (EU) was built for capitalists and bankers. It hasn’t guaranteed any social rights and it hasn’t harmonized wages. In the eastern European countries the minimum wage is less than 500 euros; in Bulgaria, it’s only 286 euros. That’s the reality behind what Loiseau, Macron or the French Socialist Party are saying! The EU hasn’t imposed a woman’s right to abortion in all member states. So workers have plenty of reasons not to expect any social progress from the EU.
The sovereignist jesters are no better. By making the EU out to be the root of all our problems they’re letting the French state and its capitalists here off the hook. And yet, it’s French governments that have handed over on a plate first the motorways and then the railroad network to private companies. And now they want to hand over the Aéroports de Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports). First Sarkozy, then Hollande and now Macron have all attacked workers’ rights. French governments are responsible for medical deserts, maternity ward closures and the critical shortage of resources in hospitals. After all these attacks, the government is now preparing yet another attack on the retirement system. None of this is dictated by the EU but by the most powerful capitalists in the country: Arnault (luxury goods), Pinault (luxury goods), Peugeot (car manufacturer), Mulliez (retail stores) or Bettencourt (l’Oréal).
Frozen wages, pitiful retirement pensions, widespread short-term work contracts and job insecurity, plant and shop closures are nothing to do with Europe but everything to do with France’s home-grown capitalists. And yet Le Pen and her National Rally political party never point their finger at them. They do, however, point it at migrants, those who are the “damned on this earth”, those who, in order to escape from dictatorship, from bombs or from hunger, risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean. These politicians are telling the poor to attack those who are even poorer! Workers who vote for the Le Pen/Bardella list are shooting themselves in the foot.
Abstaining is the same as not saying anything but letting someone else put words in your mouth! The only way that workers can make their demands known clearly is by voting for the list presented by Lutte ouvrière. Led by Nathalie Arthaud and Jean-Pierre Mercier, the aim of this list is to make the demands of the working class heard. The candidates are all workers, employees and retired workers. They're not pursuing a political career. They’re defending their social class against the capitalist class.
To put an end to the total or partial unemployment of six million people, Lutte ouvrière’s list is working to ban layoffs and to have work shared out among all workers with no loss of salary.
So that making ends meet is no longer a constant battle, wages, retirement pensions and other allowances must be increased massively and indexed to prices. No monthly wage should be lower than 1,800 euros before tax.
The business secrecy that allows capitalists to justify the most scandalous financial operations must be lifted. The distribution majors, Auchan and Carrefour want to cut 700 and 3,000 jobs respectively? Then let’s take a close look at how much money they’ve pocketed in recent years. We’ll soon see that there’s more than enough to maintain those jobs. Workers and consumers must be able to audit the accounts of companies and of the richest people.
Workers must have their own policies and their own political party. Elections don’t change things but they do allow people to rally around a program.
So that the workers’ voice can be heard today and to prepare for tomorrow’s battles, vote for Lutte ouvrière on May 26.