Monday, June 8, 2009

Solidaires Leaflet for the June 13 Mobilisations in France

Below is a rough translation of the text of the leaflet being distributed by the Solidaires in the lead up to the joint Union mobilisation in France on June 13.

Continuing, Together we will decide!

For the privileged minority

  • 360 billion for the bankers;
  • 32 billion in "employment assistance” for employers who dismiss;
  • 14 billion from the tax package that benefits the richest;
  • 8 billion from the business tax that will not be paid any more, 4 billion through the exemption of overtime pay from tax.

So much given to management and shareholders who continue to reap dividends, stock options and exorbitant incomes.

For the majority who are exploited
Wage earners, retired, young people in training and the unemployed share a burden measuring 3 billion.

Those who created the crisis will continue to fill their pockets.
Why should we continue to bear the consequences?

Another way is possible

The millions of demonstrators from January 29, March 19 and May 1, but also the many strikes that have occurred in various sectors (Industry, Chemicals, Transport, Energy, Research, Retail and Services, Post Office, Public Service, ... ) show that there is a strong social response.

Have our current responses been sufficient?

Unity of action at all levels is necessary, the workers are committed. But this unity must be useful in developing mobilization. Being on the street every two months was a useful step in the construction of power. But it cannot be a goal in itself.

The question which is posed to the trade union movement as a whole is how and why to use the power created by the millions of strikers and demonstrators.

What we want is to win our demands and impose an alternative share of wealth that we collectively produce.

For that to happen requires assuming responsibility for a social confrontation with the government and employers.

We are not their "social partners": they multiply the laws and decisions that make employees, the unemployed, retirees and the youth pay for the crisis.

They only know the struggle for power, when we do not act collectively it is favourable to them!

Setting a course!
The Union Syndicale Solidaires, proposes that in response to the situation faced today millions of wage-earners, the retired, the unemployed, young people in training and trade union organizations:

  • Undertake nationally to support each struggle that occurs when a company lays-off workers or public services are reduced, against employers who steal from us and the government that is attacking social gains;
  • Promote and organize a movement for an ongoing general strike.

Fighting together, relying on our numbers, is the only way to enable workers in smaller private companies to take their place in the struggle. The unions must give them confidence by showing that through a movement of solidarity between workers all can win!

Union Syndicale Solidaires proposes four demands:

  • Prohibition of layoffs in companies that are profiatable and establishing a new guarantee for workers’ salaries, seniority and qualifications, compensation at 100% during unemployment paid exclusively by employers, reduction of working time, because workers should not pay for the crisis while firms earn profits;
  • Immediate General increase of wages, pensions, minimum wage and minimum social standards, 300 € for all, because the workers should not pay for the crisis, while management and shareholders reap dividends and receive exorbitant pay. It a question of imposing a greater division of wealth in favour of wages;
  • Stop the job cuts and increase resourcing for public services. With the general revision of public policies and false reforms, we want new guidelines for public services, so that fundamental rights are accessible to all people: employment, health, education, transport, communication, ...;
  • Stop the taxes that favour the rich: removal of tax shield, the tax package, the overtime exemption of VAT on basic necessities, for a more progressive income tax and increase taxation on the richest households.

Availble in French on the Solidaires website the leaflet is also available to download.


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Revitalising Labour attempts to reflect on efforts to rebuild the labour movement internationally, emphasising the role that left-wing political currents can play in this process. It welcomes contributions on union struggles, internal renewal processes within the labour movement and the struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

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