CGT calls for ‘day of mobilisation’

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Workers on the picket line during a general strike in France in 2020 – the CGT is calls for a day of mobilisation and strikes

FRENCH trade union federation CGT has called for September 29 to be a ‘day of mobilisation and interprofessional strikes’ over unemployment.

The CGT stated that behind ‘the figures, lies a violent reality for the unemployed!’
Pôle Emploi (unemployed registration agency) and the DARES (Ministry of Employment) have just published the figures for unemployed workers registered with Pôle emploi in the second quarter of 2022.
The government may congratulate itself on the drop in the number of people deprived of jobs, it is only – 0.8% over the quarter for applicants in category A (excluding Mayotte).
On the other hand, it is – 15.6% over the year, while the DARES notes a 16.3% drop in compensated jobless people.
This is proof that the tightening of the rules to open up rights will have led those deprived of employment, either to turn to insecure contracts: + 1.2% over one year of job seekers in categories B and C (reduced activity), or to no longer receive compensation.
What a clever sleight of hand: instead of reducing unemployment, the government is reducing the unemployed by excluding them from compensation!
If we look at the details of these figures, it is clear that the number of young people in category A stagnated to 0% over the quarter.
In the light of the new pension reform – which we knew would swell the ranks of unemployed seniors, the figure for over-50s on insecure contracts (categories B and C) increases by 6.3 % over a year!
In the fourth half of 2021, only 47.3% of people registered with Pôle Emploi are receiving compensation! Administrative write-offs have increased by 41% over one year.
To reduce the number of jobless people, the government is pushing them to leave the Pôle Emploi rather than getting them permanent jobs.
We also wonder about the intentions of (Labour Minister) Olivier Dussopt after his statements on Thursday about the need to ‘go further’ regarding the unemployment insurance reform. In particular on the duration of compensation and its decreasing nature; a device which has already been deemed ineffective in the past.
The discussions on the purchasing power bill show that if the priority of the government is full employment, it does not demonstrate this on the quality of it or on the financing of social security.
The minister is putting back on the table the idea of an expert committee managing unemployment insurance, as recommended by the Economic Analysis Council a year ago.
In the light of a new reform of unemployment insurance, – with the prospect of accentuating the previous one which came into force last autumn and which was opposed by all the trade unions – the executive continues to want to make savings on the backs of jobless people but also on the overall budget of the social protection system.
At a time when companies, aided by the state, are making excessive profits, the government of (Prime Minister) Elisabeth Borne has decided to make job seekers lives more precarious and not to increase workers’ wages.
The CGT will therefore be present, from the start of the school year, to fight all the reforms of impoverishment of employees, retirees and unemployed people.
A commitment is made for September 29 to be a day of mobilization and interprofessional strikes.

  • The bill adopted by the National Assembly is supposed to take measures to help purchasing power, particularly for workers in the country, but does not provide a general increase in wages.

There is nothing on the raising of the minimum wage outside of the legal device and nothing either for the revaluation of the minima for professional branches of which 90% of them will pass below the minimum wage from next August 1st.
While the bill on emergency measures for the protection of purchasing power was adopted by the National Assembly late on Thursday July 21 to Friday July 22,( by 341 votes for, 116 votes against and 21 abstentions) , the CGT reaffirms its opposition to this project.
The CGT calls for a real rise in salaries, and not a sprinkling of measures to hide misery.
‘We wanted the project to differentiate between purchasing power and wages, and take into account the question of wages that are far too low to live on with dignity,’ explains Boris Plazzi, CGT confederal secretary.
In a context of very significant inflation, which began not with the war in Ukraine, but half-way through 2021, the issues of filling the fridge, accessing culture, and going on holiday are becoming more and more difficult for workers.
However, ‘the CAC 40 giant companies generated record profits of nearly 160 billion euros in 2021, exceeding the previous peak of 2007 by more than 60%,’ indicated Les Echos.
The average compensation of a CAC 40 executive reached 8.7 million euros, i.e. double of 2020 and + 60% compared to 2019!
With inflation going up to the end of 2022, the CGT is calling for a real rise in wages.
The planned increase in civil servants of +3.5% does not make up for the freezing of the index point for 12 years.
And if the labour code provides for indexation of the SMIC (minimum growth wage) according to inflation, it does not provide for indexation of wages on the increase in the SMIC.
Ditto for the minima of branches, which should increase in the same proportion as the SMIC, under penalty of ending up, on August 1, with 152 professional branches (out of 171) having minima below the SMIC for several months.
Employers will be able to pay 3,000 euros (or 6,000 in the event of a profit-sharing agreement) exempt from taxes and social security contributions, to employees earning less than 3 times the minimum wage.
In addition to the inequity of this bonus, which depends on the goodwill of the boss, and which does not participate in the financing of social protection, it should be noted that its average amount, between 2019 and 2022, amounted to 542 euros!
‘We must put an end to all these policies which have intertwined wages, purchasing power devices, careers and their progress,’ said Boris Plazzi. These issues are very important but they must be dealt with separately.
The CGT calls for a real wage policy, based on the automatic indexation of wages and minimums for branches.
The CGT proposes several key measures:

  • a minimum wage of 2,000 euros gross, an automatic increase in all salary scales in branches, companies and administrations as soon as the minimum wage is reassessed. The increase in the index point in the public service to catch up with all the years of freezing;
  • the immediate opening or reopening of wage negotiations in the branches, companies and administrations for the general increase in wages
  • Professional and wage equality between women and men to permanently eradicate this discrimination (the wage gap remains at 28.7%) and real sanctions vis-à-vis companies that do not respect this obligation;

• recognition of diplomas upon hiring and the same payment for qualifications, regardless of the sector in which one works.