With more than 300 LREM1 MPs in the National Assembly, a majority vote in favour of the pension reform is assured. Yet the government is getting ready to use Article 49.32 of the Constitution to impose its points-based retirement system without a parliamentary vote. Why? It just wants to get this unpopular reform up and running as quickly as possible – knowing it has caused hundreds of thousands of workers to go on strike and is still massively rejected in the working class.
No matter what Macron might have said about a new way of doing politics, he prefers the tried and tested authoritarian method! He and his MPs are ready and very happy to vote this law because they’re only interested in what the richest people of this country want. Retirement age will go up, pensions will go down and all because the big bosses want to pay less and less.
Macron and his party are likely to pay a high political price very soon, with the municipal elections of March 15.
In large towns and cities, the municipal elections are political in the sense that votes are primarily for a political party. Many workers would like to reject Macron’s candidates without having to vote for other politicians who are no better. That’s why Lutte ouvrière is presenting its own lists in as many towns and cities as possible. We can’t be everywhere but we will have around 240 lists.
Our candidates are plain working-class people, manual workers, employees, rail workers, technicians, supermarket cashiers, cleaners, hospital workers, teachers… Some have a job, others are unemployed or retired. They all stand under the same banner, that of the working class. Workers must come together and defend their interests, not only in their workplace but also where they live.
The class struggle is played out in workplaces, between workers and big bosses, but it spreads beyond: between owners and tenants, banks and their clients, multinational utilities companies and their customers. And, of course, between the working class, the government and the bourgeois State.
The bourgeoisie is waging a class war that is widening the gap between rich and poor. It’s condemning the younger generations of workers to job insecurity and poverty and it’s leaving working-class areas open to disruption, delinquency and all kinds of trafficking that ruin the everyday lives of millions of workers. Over the years, many working-class neighbourhoods have become ghettos for the poor.
These things can’t be changed bit by bit at municipal level. The fight is at a much wider level, between the working class majority and a handful of millionaires.
With the best will in the world, no mayor can single-handedly repair the ravages of a capitalist society. The municipality may be able to offer services that are useful and even vital to some people – free school meals, better access to healthcare and public transport, aid for the handicapped, the elderly or the isolated. But that doesn’t mend the damage done by plant closures, layoffs, unemployment, low wages, hellish working hours or a work pace that maims and kills.
No town or city council can protect us from the economic crisis that may suddenly get much worse and threaten to send the whole structure of society tumbling down. It can’t protect us from a crazy system that’s slowly but surely killing the planet and is plunging millions of women and men into horrendous wars.
Lutte ouvrière’s candidates will not be making vote-seeking promises like other candidates. But they will be saying that the workers can only obtain what they need by changing the balance of power that currently allows the capitalist class to impose its dictatorship over society. In their struggle against the bourgeoisie, workers are capable of going even further: they can expropriate the capitalist class and seize power themselves.
If Lutte ouvrière’s candidates are elected, they’ll be on the side of workers striking against their boss, on the side of tenants under threat of eviction by their landlord. And most of all, they’ll be doing what they can to help workers become aware that it’s up to them to change the world.
By voting for Lutte ouvrière’s candidates, you’ll be rejecting local bigwigs and politicians, and standing firmly on the side of conscious and militant workers. Make it clear that you are not resigned to capitalism or to being exploited!
1 « La République en Marche » (LREM) is Macron’s party.
2 Article 49.3 of the Constitution is a powerful weapon in the hands of the government. It allows it to push through the adoption of a law or text without putting it to the vote in parliament.