babble home - news for the rest of us
today's active topics

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » current events   » international news and politics   » France: 1.3 million march for workers rights

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: France: 1.3 million march for workers rights
blake 3:17
Babbler # 10360

posted 07 October 2005 11:43 AM      Profile for blake 3:17     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
French one day strike

Workers say ’No’ again, but this time in the streets

Murray Smith

The mobilisation for the one-day strike and day of action on Tuesday October 4 called by a united front of French trade unions was expected to be massive, and it lived up to expectations. Across the country there were an estimated 1.3 million demonstrators in 150 towns and cities.

That compares with a million in 115 towns and cities during the last big day of action on March 10th. The most notable element this time was the participation of workers from the private sector, on a wider scale than on previous occasion.

Also significant was the participation of large numbers of what in France are called "cadres" - middle-and lower-level management.

The central theme of the demonstrations was opposition to the measures adopted by the government this summer, which amend the labour code to make it much easier for employers to sack workers without having to justify it.

But in fact the mobilisation represented a much broader protest against the whole of the government’s economic and social policies - a continuation in the streets of the "No" vote to the European Constitution on May 29th.

Outside of Paris, where 150,000 demonstrated, the biggest demonstration was in Marseilles, with 100,000 taking to the streets. Leading the demonstration were the workers of Nestlé who are fighting to defend their jobs and those of the SNCM, the publicly-owned ferry company that runs services between the South of France and Corsica, who are opposing government plans to privatise it.

In the days preceding October 4th, the port of Marseilles was paralysed by a strike of port employees in support of their comrades of the SNCM.

Meanwhile members of the main trade union, the CGT, occupied a ferry, while their colleagues of the militant nationalist Corsican Workers’ Union took one over and sailed it back to Corsica.

Full story.

From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
blake 3:17
Babbler # 10360

posted 07 October 2005 11:53 AM      Profile for blake 3:17     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Chirac urges govt to listen to its people

Published: Thursday, 6 October, 2005, 11:49 AM Doha TimePARIS: President Jacques

Chirac told his government yesterday to listen more to the French people after a day of widespread strikes and protests, but made clear this did not mean abandoning economic reforms.
Hundreds of thousands of people took part in Tuesday’s day of action called by trade unions over low pay, falling living standards, high unemployment and a new law that makes it easier for small firms to sack staff.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has vowed to listen to their demands but rejected big policy changes, prompting unions to threaten new protests and increasing the likelihood of labour unrest that could test his resolve to push through reforms.
“The president insisted it is absolutely necessary to listen to all the French people, ones who protested as well as ones who did not, those who went on strike and those who did not,” a government spokesman quoted Chirac as telling a cabinet meeting.
He said Chirac had asked Villepin to assess “the lessons to be learnt from yesterday’s day of action” and underlined the importance of listening to protesters’ complaints over issues such as the 9.9% unemployment rate.
But Chirac stopped short of pressing the government to reverse course. “He recalled how much importance he attached to the government pressing on with its action,” the spokesman said.
Villepin, 51, is expected to discuss his response to Tuesday’s day of action on television today. He told parliament on Tuesday it was necessary to “go further” but made clear he was sticking to the same policies.
Union leaders say more than 1mn people took part in Tuesdays’ protests, although police put the figure at about half that. Villepin’s popularity has risen since Chirac appointed him on May 31, but the unions could now pose a major challenge.
“We expect significant gestures from the government and (employers’ group) Medef in the coming days,” said Francois Chereque, leader of the CFDT union. “The action will not stop.”

Full story.

From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 478

posted 07 October 2005 12:55 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Interesting situation. It speaks especially, I guess, to the relatively high levels of popular political consciousness in France -- in spite of a government that seems unprepared to change course much.

Still, it means something that the politicians are at least nervous enough to pay lip service to labour concerns and a labour perspective. So unlike most situations in North America, alas.

From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 2534

posted 07 October 2005 01:08 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, until Charest the trade unions here sure managed to get themselves heard (at least).

As in France, in neighbouring Belgium a general strike has brought most everything to a halt:

From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sanitary Engineer
Babbler # 10538

posted 07 October 2005 01:23 PM      Profile for Sanitary Engineer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hurray for the French.

Contrary to the "chicken" stereotype they are a lot more firm about standing up for their rights, then some in Canada.

It was just great seeing them tell the European constitution to take a walk during the May referendum.

We need to depend more on direct democracy here, rather, then totally on politicians.

It was fantastic, in 1992, when the people voted against the odious "Charlottetown Accord". As I remember, Judy Rebick was one of the "no" campaigners.

In 1990 when Margaret Thatcher tried to ram through the regressive Poll tax, the popular reaction(demonstrations and scuffles) forced the Conservatives to sack her sorry a--.

Voting every five years is just not enough.

From: Now Living In Ontario | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 7496

posted 08 October 2005 02:16 AM      Profile for FabFabian        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think the closest Canadians ever got close to protesting en masse, was John Manley's plan to subsidize Canadian NHL teams. Who says we don't have our priorities straight?
From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
America is Behind
Babbler # 10430

posted 11 October 2005 01:51 PM      Profile for America is Behind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The left is going to crush the right in the next Parliamentary elections.

Last year's regional elections saw the left deliver the biggest electoral massacre in the history of French politics.

From: Canada | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
blake 3:17
Babbler # 10360

posted 11 October 2005 02:35 PM      Profile for blake 3:17     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
More strike trouble for French government

French ferry workers have extended a strike in protest at privatisation plans. The extension of the nearly three-week-old stoppage spells more trouble for the government which is already facing labour unrest over its economic reforms. Last-ditch talks between the administration and unions over the privatisation of the loss-making state-owned ferry operator SNCM have failed to reach an agreement.
The only positive news for the government is the unions' suspension of the strike action that has blocked the port of Marseille.
The government has pledged to keep a quarter of SNCM, with two thirds going to two private investors and the workforce getting nine per cent.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008