Throughout France, 300,000 individuals poured into the streets on May 26 demanding withdrawal of a reactionary labor law just recently rammed through the National Assembly. The law substantially damages defenses French employees have won through years of struggle.
This was the 8th day of nationally collaborated demonstrations against the law within the last 3 months. The coalition of militant labor unions calling the demonstration consisted of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), Workers Force (FO), the Unitary Union Federation (FSU), Solidarity (Solidaire), the National Union of French Students (UNEF), the National High School Union (UNL) and the Independent and Democratic Federation of High Schools (FIDL).
The coalition has actually issued a require a single, across the country demonstration in Paris on June 14, the day the French Senate uses up the law.
The 2nd largest French union, the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT), has broken with the majority of the French labor motion, and is supporting the anti-worker law and the government.
Demonstrations in the street on May 26, there were numerous strikes, blockades and occupations. One group of marchers in Paris chanted: All together, general strike!
In France, labor unions are permitted to strike over political concerns.
All eight French oil refineries were struck. Refinery workers, truck motorists, and dock and unemployed employees blockaded some fuel depots. Forty percent of France s gasoline station went dry, especially stations around Paris and those in the north and west.
Dockworkers went out and French television pointedly showed tankers waiting offshore because they couldn’t be unloaded.
Workers at France s 19 nuclear power plants struck, which is their constitutional. The plants create about 80 percent of French electricity.
Air traffic controllers likewise struck, closing down flights at vital Paris airports. About a third of French train operators went out, badly limiting train traffic. Uniformity, the primary union of Paris Metro subway system workers, called for an unlimited strike to start June 10 the very first day of the Euro 2016 soccer competition.
Employees attract staunch support.
In spite of strikes, blockades, fuel lacks and demonstrations interfering with the lives of millions, 65 to 72 percent of the French individuals support the demonstrations and oppose the anti-worker law, according to the CGT.
The federal government had pushed the law through the National Assembly without a vote, utilizing an obscure procedure in the French Constitution. Had there been a vote, the law would probably have actually lost, since the Socialist Party now running the French state is divided, and a lot of its own members may have voted versus it. Though this party calls itself socialist, it securely safeguards the interests of the French capitalists and is actively intervening in the Middle East and Africa in tandem with U.S. imperialism.
Jean Lassalle, from the small centrist party called MoDem, is a National Assembly member who did not get to vote on the brand-new labor law because of the federal government s no-vote maneuver. From the floor, Lassalle said: I want to compliment the CGT for the actions which it has led. It takes a great deal of nerve to try to awaken a country which is asleep and living such a headache. (Le Point, May 26).
In a May 23 statement, the World Federation of Trade Unions said: The WFTU expresses its full solidarity with all employees in France, who are fighting against the labor law of the Social-Democratic government of Francois Hollande.
The WFTU expresses its complete and fraternal assistance to its affiliate, the FNIC-CGT, which strengthens the battle of workers till the withdrawal of this unacceptable draft law.
In the U.S., the Boston School Bus Drivers Union, United Steelworkers Local 8751, issued an April 28 statement: We send our hottest internationalist greetings to the rising working class of France. We hail the upsurge of public and economic sector unions, of unemployed, pensioners, students and immigrants, and of everyone who is under siege by the capitalist exploiters.
The employees and youth of France, led by the CGT, are waging a persistent, up-or-down struggle against the French ruling class, which is a vicious, determined enemy that so far has actually refused to acknowledge. The employees have a real opportunity to win. Every act of solidarity is important.