Boycott the consultations! General strike until withdrawal!

After 18 months negotiating with the government’s “high commissioner” Delevoye, the unions’ leaderships called for a day of action on Thursday 5th December. In order to block Macron’s, Philippe’s and Delevoye’s project for a point-based pension scheme, millions of workers stopped working during 24 hours: 70% in primary schools, 75% in secondary schools, 60% in EDF and its affiliates, air transport (30% of flights cancelled), refineries (8 on strike out of 9), hospital workers, dustmen, firemen…

It must be clearly stated what the point-based pension scheme is:

  • a calculation of the pension on the whole career (no more on the 25 better years or on the last 6 months)
  • the termination of the compensation for arduousness in some firms (SNCF, RATP, EDF…)
  • the possibility for the government to modify the value of the point every year
  • the limitation to 14% GDP of the pensions budget, while there will be more retirees

Practically, the loss of pension will be at least 20%, even more in case of scarce primes and of discontinuous careers (women, precarious workers, unemployed).

Despite the unions’ leaderships (CGT, UNSA, SUD, CFDT, FO…) which still do not call for the general strike until withdrawal, the RATP and the SNCF workers continue the strike. They are right! Yet if they remain isolated, they cannot win and we will all lose. Yet, Martinez (CGT), Veyrier (FO), Groison (FSU), Beynel (Solidaires), Lescure (UNSA)… decided to confine the millions workers in “days of action ». Instead of a total strike, the interunion coalition calls for a new day of action on the 10th December.

This is shameful! The sequence of days of action already led to defeats in 2003 (pensions), in 2010 (pensions), in 2016 (El Khomri bill), in 2018 (SNCF). While the unions’ bureaucracies and their assistants (LO, NPA, POI, CNT, UCL…) call for “renewable strikes”, between days of action, they recommend the dispersion, each one in its own corner, each when he/she can, while the confederal leaders negotiate with the government. It is the opposite of all together, the opposite of the general strike.

In contrast with this collusion with the government, which plays for time, hopes that days of action will break the struggle and keep dividing between “special schemes”, officials, private-sector workers, the General assembly that gathered 500 strikes and demonstrators in the Bourse du travail in Lyon on the 5th December adopted the following appeal.

The governement’s project for reforming the pensions cannot be negotiated. For obtaining its full withdrawal, there must be an interprofessional general strike until its withdrawal.
The General assembly asks all the colleagues in General assemblies to endorse the general strike until withdrawal, and to elect delegates on this basis in order to build the general strike.
It asks all the unions to stop negotiating the reform with the government and to immediately call for the interprofessional general strike until its withdrawal! (112 for, 30 abstentions, 3 against)

In relieving and in popularizing this appeal, the strikers’ General assemblies will not fall into the trap of the “high points” and of the renewal which asks for striking in its own corner, without knowing what the other workers do or will do.

Against the mass mobilization and thanks to the 10th December new day of action, the government is maneuvering. He bets on the unions’ leaderships for returning to discuss the bill’s conclusion on Monday 9th December. The Prime Minister points out his objective (“implementing a universal pension scheme implies the end of the special schemes”) and his method:

The Minister of Solidarities and Health and the High Commissioner on Retirement will meet all the unions and bosses’ organizations on Monday in order to end the round of social negotiations and of the debate on pensions that was opened with the French. They will draw up a full account of the expectations, concerns, agreements and disagreements. (Philippe, 6 December)

The victory for the full retreat relies on the boycott of any consultation! Union leaders, your place is on the streets and for the general strike! Not in the government’s banquets!

In the unions, in the general assemblies, we must impose the break with the government and prepare the general strike until the withdrawal of the project.

  • Boycott of the consultations with the government! Union leaders, get out from the Conseil d’orientation des retraites!
  • Withdrawal of the Macron-Philippe-Buzyn-Delevoye project!
  • Higher bosses’ contributions! Removal of workers’ contributions ! Repeal of past measures against pensions!
  • Elected representatives for building a national coordination of the struggle! Self-defense of the demonstrators!

8th December