Macron and work: for a real social debate, we will come back

Macron and work for a real social debate we will

“Our political system terrifies me in the way it makes everything sectorial.” This cry from the heart, it is neither a member of the opposition who pushes it, nor a dangerous trade unionist, but the president of a large French bank. The latter was, like so many others, struck by the way the government and the President of the Republic approached pension reform. No open debate on this occasion on well-being at work, no reflection on the new ecological and digital challenges facing companies and employees, nothing at all concerning the work-life balance disrupted by the advent of telework, women’s careers…

No, what agitates Elisabeth Borne and Olivier Dussopt lies in these technical questions: will we be able to reduce, thanks to this reform, our deficit and thus make it approach 300 or 400 million? Should the 10% increase in the pension for insured persons from the third child be extended to lawyers? Etc.

The president declared in vain at Rungis, on February 21: “The real debate that we must have is a debate on work”, we are tempted to retort that it was up to him. Among his relatives, many regret that the pension reform is not part of a major text on work. The employment bill promised by Olivier Dussopt should be an opportunity for reflection on the subject, but why on earth have the two texts been uncorrelated? Why did you mention pensions without wondering what the life course of tomorrow’s employee could be, between the ages of 18 and 64?

“We succeeded in rehabilitating the unions”

At a time when we keep saying that the link between citizens is breaking down, that the loss of meaning is at its peak, can we still approach politics in such a technical way, in silos, that is to say theme by theme, without worrying about drawing a vision? Emmanuel Macron will always be able to bang his fist on the table in the Council of Ministers and ask members of the government, deputies, “pedagogy” on the reform, but what is inconceivable is confusedly stated.

He who so wanted and promised an overhanging presidency should have considered that he was in the best position to outline the premises for a societal debate. And not to leave to the oppositions, to the left in particular, and to Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the monopoly of thought on the subject. The place of leisure in a life, the role of seniors in the associative fabric… So many questions that elected officials from the left or Laurent Berger, the boss of the CFDT, have formulated without ever obtaining a reaction from the Elysée.

“We have succeeded in rehabilitating the unions”, laments a leading minister. Within the government and the majority, however, some have made the effort to imagine more idealistic compensations for the reform. But none were heard. As if macronism should align numbers and leave the manufacture of a common destiny to others.