What meaning do you attribute to the demonstration of January 19 against the pension reform?
It’s an apparent success, but beware of a trompe-l’oeil. The inter-union received the reinforcement of the CFDT. This united front makes mobilization effective. The first demonstration on January 19 was both massive and peaceful. This gives the impression of a social conflict under control in the manner of the demonstrations of 1995 and 2010. The union protest is relayed by left-wing parties which denounce a right-wing government in the service of big capital. Everything seems to be in place for a major movement. It’s like returning to the heyday of the processions that punctuated the history of the IVe and the Ve Republic. But this scenography is misleading…
Pension reform: how far will the showdown go?
What changed ?
The success of January 19 should not make us forget that the unions remain weak. The unionization rate is stagnating around 10% of employees. And participation in recent civil service elections has dropped by 6 points compared to 2018. Organizations are frequently overwhelmed by their base, as was the case last December during the mobilization of SNCF controllers. Spontaneous and grassroots movements like the “yellow vests” can resurface at any time because the little ritualized game of social negotiations no longer works as before. Reorganized, large companies
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