France

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blindpig
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Re: France

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:53 am

An epochal battle against the French pension reform
pcimarche
3 days ago

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The strikes underway in France against the pension reform, which began on December 5, have not stopped for the holidays and do not show signs of stopping, making this mobilization the longest in French history since that of May '68. The unions, starting from the CGT at the head of the movement followed by Force Ouvrière, FSU, Solidaires, Unef and UNL, have just announced that they want to continue the protests in an even more obstinate way and proclaimed a new large-scale inter-professional strike, starting from January 9.

So what is the content of this reform that is provoking such fierce protests and is being challenged with such determination?

The reform

The French pension system is a contribution system (pensions are proportional to the contributions paid during a career) to pay (the contributions of active workers collectively pay current pensions in a logic of intergenerational solidarity). The system has different pension schemes depending on whether the worker belongs to the private or public sector, whether he is an employee or self-employed; to this are added the so-called "special schemes" (for workers of the SNCF railway company, of the company that manages the RATP metro, of the Comédie française, of the Banque de France; for workers in the electricity and gas industries; miners, sailors etc.). In total there are 42 regimes: schemes with their own rules that adapt to the specificities of the different professional categories. The pension is accessed through a calculation of the worked quarters and to decide the amount the average of the best 25 years of career for the private individual and of the last 6 months for the public is considered. The retirement age is 62 years (between 52 and 57 for some workers belonging to special schemes) and the amount of the pension is on average 1,422 euros gross per month. This guarantees a good standard of living, certified by the fact that the risk of poverty for retirees in France is the lowest in Europe with 7%. The retirement age is 62 years (between 52 and 57 for some workers belonging to special schemes) and the amount of the pension is on average 1,422 euros gross per month. This guarantees a good standard of living, certified by the fact that the risk of poverty for retirees in France is the lowest in Europe with 7%. The retirement age is 62 years (between 52 and 57 for some workers belonging to special schemes) and the amount of the pension is on average 1,422 euros gross per month. This guarantees a good standard of living, certified by the fact that the risk of poverty for retirees in France is the lowest in Europe with 7%.

The government wants to reform this differentiated system and replace it with a single points system. The pretext would be the complexity of management, the supposed "privileges" enjoyed by certain categories of workers compared to others and the deficit that would weigh on "social security". However, it is not difficult to guess - and this is the heart of the criticism of the unions and the left - that we would see, perhaps, a simplification of the system, but at the price of a sure leveling down of all pensions.

Technically, the government proposes a reform project in which workers' pension contributions are converted into retirement points and allocated according to the same formula for all. The Delevoye report (from the name of the reform rapporteur, now resigned) proposes as an example in its first preparatory estimates to assign one point for every 10 euros of contributions and then to convert them according to a single calculation rule, which would be 5.50 euros of pension per year every 10 points. Therefore, a worker accumulates points during his career in an individual account, and it is based on what his pension will eventually be calculated when he stops working. Depending on the value of the point, the "virtual capital" accumulated will be transformed into a pension thanks to a "conversion coefficient". The new system would apply from those born in 1975, and although the retirement age remains at 62, to encourage the French to work longer, the so-called "equilibrium age" at 64 is introduced accompanied by a mechanism of bonus-malus: from 1 January 2022, a malus will be applied to those who retire before this age; on the contrary, those who choose to continue working will be entitled to a 5% bonus.

The criticisms of the unions

For unions and the left, such a system will bring about a significant drop in the amount of pensions since the special schemes will be abolished and the calculation of the amounts modified, spreading it over the entire working career (thus not anchoring it to the best years of salary). Furthermore, the question of the value of the points, crucial for determining the amounts, remains vague: who will manage the system? In what way and according to what criteria? What checks? Few certainties, but apparently this value will be modifiable every year on the basis of parameters mainly related to financial discipline - in order to make it possible to adjust the value of the points according to budget needs.

This would prevent the worker from predicting with certainty the amount, which could only be assessed on the eve of retirement. An element of precariousness already present in the labor code following the recent reform in the anti-worker sense (the Loi Travail, which sparked great protests between 2016 and 2018) is therefore introduced, also at the level of social security. A precariousness and uncertainty that would incite us to work longer in the hope of being able to perceive a satisfactory amount. The worker would sail on sight without the security of a sufficient pension, the unions fear that this means having to work longer for a pension that is anyway lower than today. To reinforce this dark picture, he does not reassure the "golden rule" announced in the first communications from the project editor, which would provide for a freeze on the resources of the pension system at its current levels, 14% of GDP. The problem is that the number of retirees will increase by more than a third by 2050. If the system's earnings are frozen, the level of pensions will therefore be adjusted downwards.

Precisely this precariousness and uncertainty - associated however with the certainty that we want to limit the part of national wealth destined for pensions and therefore for the welfare state - would be the viable to the total opening of the pension system to private insurance and investment funds, paving the way way to an increasingly capitalized system (USA model of pension funds), perfect vehicle for breaking up the solidarity relationships implicit in the current collective system for the distribution and thus fueling the financial markets of French workers' savings. Proof would be, according to opponents, the position of the main investment financial companies in support of the reform.

The concerns of the unions are far from clear: in Sweden and Germany, where a similar points system has been introduced for years, poverty has exploded among the oldest and the reform has pushed a large part of the population to always work longer to ensure a less than decent standard of living. Only in Belgium did a large social movement manage in 2018 to prevent the launch of a similar reform in the country, although they had to swallow the toad of the lengthening of the retirement age from 62 to 67 years. An international trend is therefore at work, that of structural reforms, that is, anti-social counter-reforms, similar for each European country also because they are coordinated by the EU Commission with its clear and persistent pro-austerity orientations.

The state of mobilizations and the sense of struggle

Cutting future pensions, lengthening the retirement age, preparing for the privatization of the pension system. In the face of this offensive, the strike initially proclaimed by the workers of the railways and public transport - who are precisely among the beneficiaries of one of the special regimes called to disappear with the reform - has spread like wildfire: teachers, nurses, post office workers and workers of the state electricity company, refinery workers, dock workers. And despite the profound discomforts caused by the almost total paralysis of the means of transport and the large refineries now blocked, the overwhelming majority public opinion continues to support the reasons for the protest.

Here then is that all the attention is turned to 9 January, the fourth day of the national general strike in which French workers will reiterate their request for a pure and simple withdrawal of the reform. A request that a government deaf to popular and extremist discontent has so far opposed the usual dose of police violence and the media the usual ridicule and verbal anti-union violence of the omnipresent liberal commentators. The intent is clear, a new social regression is preparing to favor capitalists and large enterprises, through yet another attack on the welfare state and popular classes, after the attack on the labor code and the elimination of the wealth on the great wealth .

The opposition to the pension reform is a sign of the growing social opposition against this capital strategy which heavily penalizes the working classes. But beyond the social level, it is a furious political struggle that is underway: two models of society collide, the purely liberal one embodied by Macron, and the solidarity and social one embodied by the CGT. Macron is called to the test of what Tatcher did in the 1980s, if the strikers yield, all collective conquests will be sold off in favor of the interests of the large multinational groups and the bourgeoisie and Europe will sink even further into restoration; if the protesters win, given the centrality of a country like France, a reversal of trend in social power relations could occur,

Alberto Ferretti

Sources

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/ar ... r#Echobox= 1575653056

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/produ ... 0190115-1c

https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/ ... tc?fbclid= IwAR3Uzt94C-mlTFxH2mTsbqYmDZmdiJpxFFQxM58B4wk-obAtBCJq1lsO1Qk

https://www.lavoce.info/archives/62768/ ... -francesi/

https://lottobre.wordpress.com/2019/12/ ... e-a-punti/

https://pcimarche.wordpress.com/2020/01 ... VLUhMnHHgQ

Google Translator
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: France

Post by blindpig » Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:55 pm

38th day of strike, 61st act of yellow vests: new day of mobilization on the street 11 Jan 2020, 10:55 Author: RT France

The national strike against pension reform begins its 38th day on January 11 and coincides with the 61st Saturday of mobilization of yellow vests. The Prime Minister promised concrete announcements the day before to resolve the social crisis.

Another big day of mobilization against the pension reform this January 11 at the call of the unions mobilized in Paris and in the region. The yellow vests open the ball of the parades at the end of the morning for the 61st consecutive Saturday of their protest movement . They must join the union processions at the beginning of the afternoon, mobilized against the pension reform.

From 11 a.m., the first yellow vests gathered in the capital, like Isabelle, a mason, who explains the reason for her presence.

Alain, owner of PME and Yellow Vest, for his part came from Clermont-Ferrand to demonstrate in Paris. Every Saturday, he goes to a different city to demonstrate. Its purpose: to inform.

The demonstrators then took over the Place de la Nation, before the afternoon procession at the call of the inter-union (CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, FSU, Solidaires and youth organizations), which does not hear not release the pressure to get the government project withdrawn.

Among several cities in France, the demonstrators gathered in particular in Toulouse, where they were numerous at the meeting.

The day before, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe promised announcements, as of January 11, in the form of “concrete proposals” in writing which could constitute “the basis of a compromise” on the much-contested reform of the pension system, after 38 strike days. Read also POLIT'MAG - Pension reform: "signs of openness"?

Among other controversial measures, the government is eagerly awaited on the pivotal age or “age of equilibrium”, which all unions, including the CFDT, oppose. This age of balance, which should gradually encourage the French to leave at 64 in 2027, under penalty of being inflicted a penalty, is 39 times in the bill sent late January 9 to social partners. Other aspects of the reform are disputed, such as the introduction of a point system. In addition, opponents of the bill suspect that it ultimately aims to favor a funded system for the benefit of pension funds over the existing pay-as-you-go system.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed "the determination of the government" to present this reform project on January 24 to the Council of Ministers and to submit it to the examination in public session at the National Assembly starting on February 17 so that it can be adopted before summer.

The street, for its part, maintains the pressure. Thus, on January 9, between 452,000 (according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior) and one million demonstrators (according to Le Nombre Jaune , an organization close to the Yellow Vests) marched through the streets of France during a day of mobilization marked by significant tensions. Among other punching actions, the CGT called for maintaining the blocking of fuel shipments from refineries until January 16 inclusive, and notably filed a “renewable blocking” strike in two Banque de France centers, in Ile- de-France and Hauts-de-France, which handle more than a quarter of the country's banknotes.

En savoir plus sur RT France : https://francais.rt.com/france/70119-38 ... ifications

https://francais.rt.com/france/70119-38 ... ifications
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: France

Post by blindpig » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:28 pm

Strikers' press conference: "If the government is firm, we will be ten times firmer than it!" "
Called by the RATP-SNCF coordination, elected officials, political figures and the media joined the strikers on Monday evening in front of the Gare du Nord for a press conference aimed at denouncing the repression which is beating down on the movement. United in the face of government violence, the strikers remain firm: “we will go as far as withdrawal! "

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Tuesday January 14

Credits: O Phil des Contrastes

Violence against strikers reached a level unseen last week since the start of the movement. In depots, repression has almost become commonplace: strikers are hit and gassed there almost daily from 4:30 a.m. while they are holding pickets. In the street, too, the violence of the repression has jumped since the demonstration on January 9, which saw the bludgeons, gassings and arrests reach an unprecedented number and level of aggressiveness.

In reaction to the incredible violence of the repression, and faced with the silence on the subject of the trade union confederations which apparently give priority to negotiations with the Elysée rather than to their repressed basic militants, the strikers of the SNCF-RATP coordination, building on the success of the press conference on vows on December 31, therefore called a press conference to denounce this repression. At the meeting, some political figures - such as Nathalie Arthaud from Lutte Ouvrière, Alexis Corbières and Raquel Garrido from the FI, Esther Benbassa from EEVL, Almamy Kanouté from the Justice and Truth Committee for Adama, Madjid Messaoudène, elected from the city of Saint Denis, or even Benjamin du POID (some who could not be freed, like Olivier Besancenot, who nevertheless transmitted his support) -, many strikers, and many media: LCI BFM CNEWS RT France, Radio FPP, AFP , and of course Permanent Revolution whose direct is always available .

A success for those who, as Anasse Kazib, a railway worker in the Bourget sector, intends to "make the government pay politically" for this strategy of repression.

Violence, beatings, the wounded. Police impunity. Role of the police in society. Striker, strike of the working classes.

It is thus to testify to the terrible violence which they undergo in an increased way since the beginning of the movement that the strikers are the first to seize the microphone after the introduction of Anasse. Alongside Irene - UNSA delegate and one of the figures of the movement at the RATP - when she was violently clubbed at the end of the demonstration for trying to recover her laptop , Damien opens this turn to speak.

Having himself suffered numerous blows and one night in GAV, he denounces this savage violence of the police. It is by warmly thanking the independent journalist who filmed the scene, and by recalling the importance of always filming the acts of violence, that he ends his intervention. A thank you which is indeed very important since it is on the basis of this video that Irene was able to file a complaint.

This illustrates the great fear of the government and the Ministry of the Interior, that fear which has made journalists the privileged targets of repression and arrests during the last demonstrations , taking into account their possible judicial utility as well as their power. media - that of revealing without filtering or cutting the extent of the violence of the police, and its role of armed force of the government, ready to subdue any dispute.

Violence against social movements of which the Yellow Vests have been particularly victims since November 17, 2018, with today, many disheveled, mutilated, injured, but also a deceased person, Zineb Redouane, killed by a tear gas grenade launched into his apartment . A violence which there already, was at the height of the fear provoked by the movement for the government, as reminded elsewhere by yellow vests present in the assembly this evening.

It is thus to a police accustomed to repress, and sure of their role that the strikers today confront each other. A police adept at provocations, which displays coming to bludgeon, gas, strike. This is what Ahmed, a machinist at the Flanders depot, denounces, by recounting the police presence, sometimes colossal, every morning during the pickets with strong reinforcements of threats and baton blows . "We are just strikers who defend our pensions!" They're the thugs! They are the ones who come in the morning to break our heads! "

Ahmed, a machinist on strike at the Flanders depot. Credits: O Phil des Contrastes
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The violent repression that has swept through social movements has seen a particular accentuation in recent months. Despite this, it is nothing new or inherent in this government, as recalled Elsa, activist of the NPA, referring to the death of Rémi Fraisse, - killed, under a socialist government, by a tear gas canister during a demonstration in October 2014 - for which the responsible gendarme received a dismissal confirmed just a few days ago . It is the nature of the police, as the armed arm of a government, as an instrument for maintaining the domination of one class over another, which appears in the demonstration of the repression of social movements, but also of classes popular in general.

This is the message that Almamy Kanouté of the Justice and Truth committee for Adama also brought, which recalls the literally murderous reality of police violence in working-class neighborhoods, and total impunity from justice. It is against this system as a whole, and the violence with which it treats and kills the working classes, that it calls to rise. "I would like our anger, we can add it up, we can multiply it" he begins before denouncing the union leadership "I would not even go and argue with these irresponsible politicians!" Even just arguing for me is not possible, because they don't respect us. Every day they spit on us! " .

A very applauded intervention, during which the activist affirms his support for the strike and the place of the suburbs at the heart of it "the suburbs are there, when you go to the Vitry depot!" » Before ending with the mention of the declaration of the father of Cédric Chouviat dead, like Adama Traoré, of a violent police arrest : " It was very clear: "Macron, I declare war on you". And all together we must declare war on Macron, his team and those who are accomplices of everything that is happening! "

Almamy Kanouté, from the Justice and Truth Committee for Adama. Credits: O Phil des Contrastes
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Against this government which has only repression to respond to the dispute, "We will go until withdrawal! "

Thus, like the Almamy Kanouté intervention not only against pension reform, but especially against a government and a system that massacres the working classes, shatters the lives of workers, and destroys the future of young people. generations, that striking workers are fighting in this already historic movement that started on December 5, 2019. It is also in this sense that political figures are present, like Esther Benbassa who came to affirm ecological support "We, environmentalists, we are with you ", or France Insoumise who, through Alexis Corbière, salutes " the leaders and activists of high quality " which the social movement needs, who are revealing themselves in this struggle.

It is in this same perspective to declare war on a government which has only the repression to respond to the social anger that intervenes Clément, railroad worker of the technicentre of Chatillon. After recounting the repression and violence he too suffered alongside his striking colleagues and comrades (some of whom remain injured today after several weeks), it was on the strength of the movement and the pressure that he exercises on the government he supports: "The only weapon they have is to suppress us!" And if they repress us, it is because we are not far from victory! "

Clément, striking railway worker at the Chatillon technicentre. Credits: O Phil des Contrastes
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A victory which strikers have been working night and day for more than 40 days, at their workplaces, in demonstrations and in actions, putting themselves in danger, faced with police repression, but also employer repression "essential in every strike movement " , which strikes down " on all those who militate from the start " as Anasse underlines to present Hani, striker threatened with sanction of the Belliard bus depot .

In the context of this ongoing conflict with the government, and with a view to keeping the movement going until victory, it is for the union leadership that it intervenes: "There is money in the boxes! We need this money to hold on! If this money has not been released for these movements, when is it going to be released? "

Money thus stands out as the “sinews of war” , after more than 40 days of renewable for many strikers, but also the treacherous policy of the union leaderships which, in addition to not filling the strike funds, do not offer any real plan to win by extending the strike, remain silent in the face of repression, and rush to Matignon to negotiate and define with the government the way of implementing the cut of 12 billion euros on our pensions !

For Nathalie Arthaud, herself a striker since December 5, "it is by the balance of power that we will change our destiny" . A fate that the workers are not ready to hand over to the government, according to the representative of Lutte Ouvrière, even less following the latest announcements by Edouard Phillipe, believing that "with cinema of the pivotal age, it has handed over fuel! " In the machine of social anger.

It is on the assessment drawn up by Anasse that this press conference ends which gave itself the aim of "marking these moments of repression that we lived", "not to let pass. " This is for the activist, " the role of the police, her role of coercion of a bourgeois state " , which is highlighted through repression, the role of breaker of the police institution strike, arrives at the depots at 3am to prevent the strikers from blocking the buses, as she sawed the bars of refineries to unblock them by force in previous movements, and whose role has always been to "serve the bourgeois". It is by affirming that "if the government is firm, we will be ten times firmer than it!" ", That he ends, recalling all the same " that playing too much with repression, it can backfire on them ... "

Anasse Kazib, striker railway worker at Le Bourget. Credits: O Phil des Contrastes
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Thus, after having played the decay strategy, it would seem that the government is now putting on repression, and fierce repression, to weaken the movement and make strikers and demonstrators return to their homes or to work. If the method of giving up strikers through fear does not seem to work more than that of isolating them, exhausting them or even promising them corporatist arrangements, this recourse to the police also proves to bring very little result to the government on the side of public opinion, since support for the strike has further increased by 5 points according to an Ifop poll from Sunday !

The strikers' strategy of occupying the media space to make their own voices heard and the meaning they give to their struggle seems on the contrary to be much more profitable. This is the message of a fight for the whole of society, the future of the youngest, against the permanent casualization of the working classes, and for a better world, which is able to reach the whole of the population, whose support is only increasing in response to the scandalous violence that is sweeping down the movement.

https://www.revolutionpermanente.fr/Con ... fermes-que

Google Translator

Leave it to the Trots, never seen a union they liked. As though the sea of CGT banners mean nothing...Well, so far this action has been more effective at mobilizing workers than the Yellow Vests who for all their bravery & tenacity are not well organized.
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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