what to expect this Thursday 19? And then ?

what to expect this Thursday 19 And then

JANUARY STRIKE. The strike on Thursday, January 19 promises to be well attended, but other social movements are taking place upstream and are organizing for future mobilizations. What is the strike schedule for the next few weeks?

[Mis à jour le 17 janvier 2023 à 12h04] Has the spiral of strikes started? While the “black day” of January 19, 2023 continues to be prepared in the unions of all sectors, the schools are giving the starting signal for the sequence of social movements this Tuesday, January 17. The education unions are demonstrating two days before the inter-union strike to defend demands made for a long time and, no doubt, to denounce the pension reform with a little advance.

But this initiative in National Education should only be a taste of the January 19 strike, for teachers who will then be joined by transport, the energy sectors, caregivers and many others. The eight French unions at the origin of the strike call hope and expect to see “millions” of people demonstrating against the reform deemed “unfair”. Several union representatives such as Laurent Berger and Philippe Martinez, respectively boss of the CFDT and the CGT, have in mind the example of the mobilizations of 1995 against the Juppé plan which also concerned pensions and had pushed two million French people to beat the paved.

The objective is ambitious but the unions agree to achieve it by multiplying strikes. According to the extent of the social movement of January 19 which must be the first act of a mobilization installed in the long term, the unions are already considering the renewal of interdisciplinary and “punch” operations. Still, sector by sector, the unions are already organizing to carry out other strikes or other actions over the next few weeks, and until February for some, to prevent the adoption of the pension reform. With a busy schedule, what are the strikes already set for the end of January?

An inter-union strike on January 19

This is a first for 12 years and “a feat” of the government according to the secretary general of the CGT Philippe Martinez: the eight French trade union federations (CFDT, CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC, Unsa, Solidaires, FSU) s unite in a common front against pension reform. All together, the union representatives called for a strike and a “massive mobilization” hoping to see millions of people in the streets with an example in mind, that of the mobilization of 1995 against the Juppé plan on pensions which had pushed two million of demonstrators pounding the pavement.

This strike call launched by the inter-union could only be a starting point for a mobilization over several days, even several weeks. The union of trade unions must also meet Thursday evening after the day of strike to decide on the continuation of the operations according to the extent of the demonstrations. “It’s the first meeting, that means there will be others”, launched Philippe Martinez on January 13 on BFM TV when the confederal secretary of the CGT, Céline Verzeletti anticipated in remarks taken up by The gallery : “We can have a second day very close together so as not to break the momentum”.

All the left called to join the inter-union movement and to participate in the day of mobilization. The unions did not object to the presence of left-wing elected officials in the ranks when they assured that they would not tolerate the presence of any member of the majority or of the right in the processions. Laurent Berger, boss of the CFDT, however insisted on January 16 to say on France info that the demonstrations of January 19 are not political, they must belong to the workers and all the elected officials “will be behind”.

A strike in schools on January 17

The teachers’ unions were among the first to respond positively to the call for a strike on 19 January. In processions all over France, the unions Snuipp-FSU, Snes-FSU, Unsa-education or even Sgen-CFDT will protest against the pension reform, in particular against the decline in the legal age at 64 years old and long studies not taken into account. But before that, the FSU, the first education union, called for a demonstration specific to the National Education sector this tuesday january 17. This time, the demands relate essentially to a salary increase and the improvement of working conditions, but it is not impossible that slogans against the pension reform will be chanted.

The Snes-FSU, the main secondary school union, is at the initiative of the extended call for a strike in the education sector, but before it some teachers had already planned to demonstrate on January 17: those of vocational high schools. The latter denounce another reform of Emmanuel Macron that concerning the reorganization of the professional path. It is therefore a convergence of struggles that is being organized under the impetus of the teachers’ unions.

Three progressive strikes in refineries at the call of the CGT-Pétrole

The “illegitimate and unacceptable” pension reform must not come into force for oil sector unions. CGT-Petrole has invited employees to multiply and intensify strikes in the coming weeks, anticipating “decreases in flow” and “stopping of shipments” of fuels, according to Eric Sellini, the union’s national coordinator at TotalEnergies.

The union plans a 24-hour strike on January 19another one 48 hours on January 26and finally a three-day strike starting February 6. A three-step plan that leaves the way open for a renewal of the social movement and even “if necessary, to stop the refining facilities”. In response, and before reliving the fall crisis, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne urged the strikers to “not penalize the French” during a trip on January 12.

Renewed strikes in the energy sector?

Could the CGT-Petrole battle plan have given ideas to the unions in the energy sectors? Not impossible. The secretary general of the CGT des mines et de l’énergie (FNME-CGT), Sébastien Menesplier, said he was interested in the actions announced by his colleagues in the refineries, namely three progressive and rolling strikes over several weeks from January 19 to 6 February, as mentioned above. The FNME-CGT is also preparing for possible renewals of the strike movement of January 19 with the ambition of “disorganizing work or weighing on the economy” of companies. All these options on the table must be discussed with other branches of the CGT inclined to unite in the fight against pension reform. The FNMECGT must also meet with union representatives of dockers and railway workers.

An “unlimited” strike at the hospital since January

Hospital staff will take part in the mobilization on Thursday, January 19, 2023. If they will not all take to the streets, many will wear the “on strike” armband from their post, a habit among caregivers to avoid doing damage to patients. collateral, but that in no way lessens the workers’ anger.

However, hospitals are already engaged in an “unlimited” strike since January 10 thanks to a strike notice filed by FO-Santé and which runs indefinitely. With uninterrupted mobilization, medical professionals can organize a new social movement at any time.

In addition to denouncing the pension reform, caregivers are demanding an increase in wages – some are campaigning for a minimum wage of 2,000 euros -, retirement at 60 and possibly early at 55, but also the recruitment of “200,000 agents in health, social and medico-social sectors”. In addition to hospitals, some liberal doctors, who were on strike at the beginning of the month, could individually take part in the January 19 strike day. Liberal doctors who demand an increase in consultation rates from 25 to 50 euros, a reduction in their administrative tasks or even incentives to reduce the number of medical deserts.

Future strikes in transport?

The transport sector has been multiplying strikes since the fall of 2022 and in recent weeks the SNCF and the RATP have given the cover. The latest mobilization dates back only to January 13, the day of the mandatory annual negotiations at the RATP. The two companies promise a large-scale mobilization on Thursday January 19 with a “zero transport” objective displayed by the CGT-RATP which will use an “unlimited duration” strike notice which was filed in December 2019 during the previous reform. “aborted” pensions, as indicated TF1 News. Enough to allow a renewal of the movement without difficulty.

The SNCF also plans a “powerful” strike. “In the railways, the trade unions (…) affirm their desire to build an offensive (…) the strongest in order to make the government give in”, can we read in a press release on January 11. The unions which are also studying “methods of action going beyond twenty-four hours after the day of January 19”.

Truck drivers also intend to mobilize against the pension reform. Fabrice Michaud, representative of the “Transport” branch of the CGT, told TF1 News Friday January 13 that the objective is that of a “general mobilization”. “Strike notices have been filed by truck drivers, cash couriers, but also by delivery companies,” he said, even if for the moment, a “blockage” is not considered. However, “if the government sticks to its positions”, a mobilization similar to that planned in the refineries could be put in place.

Students and young people ready for several strikes in January?

Youth organizations (Fage, Unef, Student Solidarity, Alternative and the Student Union Federation) have followed in the footsteps of the inter-union by calling on young people to mobilize against the pension reform. and to demonstrate on January 19. But students and young people want to multiply the movements with another mobilization planned two days later, January 21. The mobilization is coupled with the “March for pensions” of La France insoumise which has ensured support for the youth movement.

On January 19, student and high school organizations sometimes call for schools to be blocked in order to be heard. It is not impossible that other similar calls will be launched during future mobilizations starting with that of January 21st. If the majority does not seem to believe in a strong demonstration of young people, they say on the contrary to be concerned and opposed to the pension reform because of which they fear working until 64 years or more. It remains to be seen whether the position of the student unions and that of the majority of young people.