Socialist Worker

More strikes needed in France to smash Macron’s assault on workers

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2604

A demonstration to mark “a day without rail workers”

A demonstration to mark “a day without rail workers” (Pic: Force Ouvriere)


Train services were halted in many areas of France this week as strikers made a big push to give new momentum to their battle against president Emmanuel Macron.

They have been striking two days in every five for six weeks.

On Monday all the unions called for “a day without rail workers”. It was highly successful, with few services running.

It also saw an escalation of militancy. Around 200 strikers from Paris Nord station invaded the SNCF rail management headquarters.

From Marseille, CGT union member Bernard told Socialist Worker. “We struck and we blocked the road near the Saint-Charles station. Some people, strikers and supporters, occupied the tracks.

“The bosses brought in the police. But they couldn’t stop the occupation. All the trains were halted.

“It feels good to be on the offensive. We need more of this and to link up all the battles.

“Students came to support us, and we have visited the students who blockaded the Aix-Marseille university.”

The battle against Macron’s rail cuts, closures and sell-offs were boosted last weekend when Le Parisien newspaper unveiled a leaked document.

Exposed

It exposed the government’s claims that it has no plans to privatise the network as false.

And it’s not just rail workers who are fighting.

A day of action and some strikes were planned for Tuesday this week in hospitals. A mass strike by civil service workers and other public sector workers is set for next Tuesday, and a general day of action on 26 May.

Unfortunately there are also retreats.

All the rail unions have called a vote on the government’s attacks. This is on their own initiative and it’s a hugely dangerous move.

Some managers and non-strikers will take part in the vote, and it could raise doubts about the unity of workers.

Instead of holding divisive votes, it’s time to escalate the battle.

The revolutionary socialist organisation NPA this week called for rail workers to “consolidate the strike, to decide to make it indefinite and to vote every day in assemblies how to take it forward”.


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