Vote for Nathalie Arthaud, vote for the working class!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
April 4, 2022

Next Sunday’s election is a farce. The war in Ukraine has shaken the world economy which was already in deep crisis. Yet again, the workers will be the ones to pay the price as the situation gets worse. So, it isn’t a question of knowing which of the candidates running will be the one to bring on the attacks, it’s a question of getting ready to defend ourselves.

The next president, no matter who it is, will be on the bosses’ and bankers’ side. The most cynical – and therefore the most sincere – candidate, Emmanuel Macron, promises us blood and tears. He has reminded us time and again that in the upcoming months there will be less economic growth and more inflation. And he has been very clear: those on welfare will have to work for 7€ an hour and retirement age will be pushed back to 65. What a huge step backwards!

In this context, when we hear the left-wing candidates list their fine promises or even talk about “happy days” without ever warning the laboring classes of what’s to come; when we hear some of them say that by voting for them we’ll save our pensions without having to demonstrate or put up a fight, there’s reason to be angry because they are disarming those who listen to them. The workers don’t need illusion-sellers, they need clarity.

I defend the perspective that workers must organize. My candidacy is a call to consciousness and mobilization! I’m not running in this election to say that if I were in power, I’d do better than Macron, but to affirm that the workers can defend themselves through their collective struggles.

When we talk amongst ourselves about how much we need to get by, everybody agrees we’d need 300€, 400€ or 500€ more per month and that 2000€ net per month is a minimum. And with the return of inflation, we must put forward the demand that has long been a fundamental one in the labor movement: the sliding scale of wages. Wages, pensions and welfare benefits must be indexed to prices and reevaluated every month or every week if necessary.

Maintaining several million people out of work is a blessing for capitalists. It allows them to drive wages down and to keep on blackmailing workers.

If, together, we had the power to run companies, we would start by dividing out the work to be done among us all because so many of us are overworked. Many workers have to work overtime, on weekends and holidays, and do the work of two people because a retired coworker was never replaced... This heavy workload must be lightened by sharing out the work and hiring more workers.

If we asked healthcare professionals, nursing home staff, teachers and public transport workers to make a list of their hiring needs, we would see that hundreds of thousands of useful and essential jobs could be created immediately!

To all those who think that these objectives are desirable but unrealistic or who wonder whether society is rich enough to make it happen, I say: demand that trade secrets be abolished, demand that workers take charge.

If you’re aware that the strength of the workers doesn’t lie in the ballot box, then your vote must be a determined one, a vote to show other workers which side you’re on, to affirm our working-class policy and perspectives.

This will, of course, be a minority vote, one that runs against the trend. But against what trend? Individualism? The cult of money? Nationalism? War? Capitalism? Well, yes! A thousand times yes because that’s not where the future of society lies!

These ideas can only become strong when millions of workers defend them. But it is essential to prepare for the future by defending them against all odds and in all circumstances, including in an election like this one.

Those who share this point of view but who are about to abstain from voting shouldn’t remain silent. By voting for my candidacy, they can show that there are hundreds of thousands of workers who feel the same way. So, on April 10, let the workers’ side be heard!

Nathalie Arthaud