Elisabeth Borne receives the unions: what to expect?

Elisabeth Borne receives the unions what to expect

The previous meeting between the unions and Elisabeth Borne had not been a success. Union representatives had cut short their meeting with the Prime Minister on April 5. This time, will the executive and the main union leaders be able to renew the dialogue, which has been undermined since the start of the sequence on pension reform?

The five representative unions – CFDT, CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC – will be received at Matignon as part of bilateral meetings on Tuesday May 16 and Wednesday. These interviews will take place in the presence of Olivier Dussopt, Minister of Labour. The employers’ organizations will be received the following week.

What is the executive’s objective?

Elisabeth Borne had launched invitations to trade unions without a “specific agenda” on May 5, after presenting the roadmap of the “hundred days” decreed by Emmanuel Macron to relaunch the executive after the pension reform. The email sent by Matignon to the press indicates that these meetings are intended to “listen” to the unions “about their expectations” and to discuss “the subjects and the method which will make it possible to build a new pact of life at work”.

“I have at heart that we can quickly resume the dialogue”, said this Sunday Elisabeth Borne in an interview at the JDD. “Even after these turbulent months, I remain convinced that more room must be given to negotiation and social dialogue,” added the head of government, who said she had “never cut the thread” with union officials. “The distrust will remain extremely deep”, however warned Sunday the general secretary of the CGT Sophie Binet, guest of the Grand jury RTL-LCI-Le Figaro.

What are they going to talk about?

The unions have the opportunity to advance the subjects that they consider to be priorities. Among the subjects that the unions wish to discuss: the employment of seniors and hardship, wages in the private and public sectors, the organization of work (four-day week, telework), the reform of the RSA, the conditionality of aid granted to companies, the revision of work orders, etc.

“We will refuse any discussion on regressive subjects” in terms of social rights, warns Sophie Binet. But beforehand, “what I am going to say to the Prime Minister is that there will be no return to normal if this reform (of pensions) is not abandoned”, repeats the secretary general of the CGT.

The number one of the CGT wants to talk about wages, asking for their indexation to prices, as well as the “conditionality of public aid” to companies which receive “200 billion euros each year without social or environmental conditions”. “It is no longer possible to multiply the gifts” to companies, launches Sophie Binet. Conditioning public aid would constitute, according to her, a “major lever which would allow, for example, to put pressure on companies to increase wages”.

“We will continue to say that the page is not turned” on pensions, but “we cannot not talk about inflation, purchasing power”, explains for his part to AFP the president from the CFTC, Cyril Chabanier.

The CFDT will come with a thick “claims book”, but also requirements in terms of method. “We are going back to discuss but not under any conditions”, warns the number two of the union, Maryse Léon. “If things are not studied because everything is decided in advance, that does not suit us”. The leader, called to succeed Laurent Berger on June 21, is cautious. “I’m not sure they have another method to offer us,” she slips.

“Everyone is perfectly aware of the importance of the issues: the prevention of professional wear and tear, the employment of seniors, retraining, the universal time savings account… In all these fields, I have no doubt that the trade unions and employers’ organizations will want to take their responsibilities,” said Elisabeth Borne at the JDD.

Why are unions always united?

The unions, united since the beginning of the mobilization against the reform within the inter-union, are continuing the protest, while the text was adopted by Parliament and promulgated by the President of the Republic on April 14.

After a 1st of May placed under the sign of the battle against the postponement of the legal age to 64, they announced a 14th day of strike and demonstrations on June 6, two days before the examination at the National Assembly of a bill from the Liot group aimed at repealing the reform. “The match is not completely over” and “this bill gives us additional time”, underlined In The Obs the general secretary of the CFDT, Laurent Berger.

“June 6 is an important date in the history of France, it’s D-Day, the D-Day of the landing, we are calling to land this reform which is dangerous for the country, dangerous for the employees” , said Sophie Binet on May 10 to Mediapart.