A new multi-sector strike has been announced in France for this Thursday, October 27, with transport disruptions expected. We explain the reasons for the strike and which sectors will be affected.
The strike call was issued by the large CGT union and is set to be a national and interprofessional strike. It comes after a similar day of action last Tuesday (October 18).
Céline Verzeletti, union director, said: “We do not want to give up.” She said that the CGT’s actions were “in line” with the expectations of salaried workers.
Fabien Roussel, general secretary of the French Communist party, appealed to his members to heed the strike call.
He told BFMTV: “We will follow [on with] this strike with an iron fist, until the government accepts the importance of making most salaries evolve at the same level as inflation [same as the French minimum wage, known as the Smic, does].”
He asked why the Smic minimum wage rises along with inflation but other salaries do not.
Grèves: "Nous poursuivrons ce bras de fer, cette bagarre, jusqu'à ce que le gouvernement accepte de faire en sorte que l'ensemble des salaires évolue au même niveau que l'inflation", affirme Fabien Roussel (@Fabien_Roussel) pic.twitter.com/QhopmvrgTh— BFMTV (@BFMTV) October 21, 2022
The strike grievances and demands include:
Increase in the minimum wage (Smic)
Re-evaluation of all salaries in line with inflation, in the same way as the Smic
Re-evaluation of the salary scale for public sector workers
Union bosses are hoping to attract more people to the strike this time around, compared to last Tuesday's action.
On October 18, unions said that 300,000 people marched (the Interior Ministry put the number at 107,000), and bus services and tramways were disrupted due to involvement from transport union Solidaries RATP.
Ms Verzeletti said that support was “dynamic”. She said that a wide range of sectors were sympathetic to the cause, including the fuel sector, nuclear power workers and public transport staff.
Despite the strikes in the fuel refineries slowly coming to an end, Ms Verzeletti said that this cross-sector mobilisation was “gaining in size to the level of energy [strikes]”.
She said that if Thursday’s strike is particularly popular, she predicts that the Solidaire and FSU unions will join the movement on the next strike date of November 10.
Workers at the transport company RATP have already announced their intention to join the strike on November 10, after saying they did not feel heard during talks with management.
The unions Solidaires RATP, CGT, UNSA, FO, and La Base have said they will strike from 22:00 on Wednesday, November 9, through to Friday, November 11 at 07:00.
They have said that their mission will be to operate “zero metro and zero RER” services on November 10.
In a statement, the unions said: “Whatever management says, its responsibility for the strike is undeniable given the situation of our constantly-worsening working conditions due to a lack of foresight.”
The strike call comes just after former Prime Minister Jean Castex has been announced as the new head of RATP. He will replace Catherine Guillouard, who resigned due to personal reasons.
Mr Castex is now set to be “heard [interviewed] by parliamentary commissions and then the cabinet” ahead of taking on the new role.