Opponents of the labour law maintain pressure on the government: employees, students and pupils are preparing to fight on Saturday…
More than 200 demonstrations and rallies are planned throughout France, the call of the unions (CGT, FO, FSU, Solidaires, UNEF, UNL, Fidl), which expects a “massive mobilization” . “Will it be as large as the protests on the 9th and 31st March ? Hard to say. But it is a certainty, there will be large demonstrations ” anticipates Eric Beynel, co-general delegate of United, while admitting that the school holidays in zones A and B – Marseille, Lyon, Nantes, Bordeaux … – ” may reduce protests slightly.”
“Despite the Government’s communication, despite its attempts to divide us, our determination remains intact” , he assures. “Our philosophy on the subject remains” , noted for his part the Secretary General of the union Force Ouvrière, Jean-Claude Mailly, interviewed on Friday on France Info. “This fully justifies the mobilization and call for a new day on April 28”.
“Extend the movement”
The protest against the bill is now its second month. Since the 9th March, the supporters wanting a withdrawal of the text organized five days of action, two of them involving young people and workers. The last single day, March 31, attracted between 390,000 and 1.2 million demonstrators across France, nearly double that of the 9th March. The processions were also interspersed with violence, including 177 arrests on April 5th during a day at the initiative of the only youth organizations.
“Still room for improvement” concedes Minister
Organizing the protests this Saturday, the unions hope to “broaden the movement to families, to all people who are not necessarily have the ability to protest during the week” , says Virginia Gensel member of the leadership of the CGT in Paris, the young people go to 11am at Place de la Nation, Paris. They will then join their elders in a procession that will depart at 2pm from Place de la République in the direction of the nation, behind Philippe Martinez (CGT), Jean-Claude Mailly (FO) and William Martinet (UNEF) in particular.
“Nuit Debout “
In the evening, it is the citizens gatherings at the “NuitDebout”, that has now spread to nearly 60 French cities, which will take over. Since March 31, the movement met every evening on the Place de la République in Paris and has spread to the provinces. It goes well beyond opponents of labour law: refugees, poor housing, insecurity, exercise of democracy, everything is debated. The movement continues to grow and the day Saturday will be “decisive”.
On Wednesday, three ministers, including Myriam El Khomri, the minister who has proposed the Labour law, met the leader of the first student union who has urged young people to “stay engaged”. “The disagreement persists”, he noted after meeting, while welcoming a “dialogue framework that we hope will make things positive” . The UNEF and other student organizations and high school students, who will be met on Monday by the Prime minister Manuel Valls, are demanding action against the precariousness of youth.
“Engaging the elected”
Meanwhile, the Bill continues, without pitfalls, its legislative history . Members of the Committee on Social Affairs completed on Thursday examining the text, which they have made changes, including the most controversial measures such as the clarification of redundancies, said agreements ‘offensive’ , business referendums … next step: the text will be debated in the Chamber from the 3rd May. The Unions aim to keep the pressure on the government with a “new day of strikes and demonstrations” on April 28th. “In the meantime , warns Eric Beynel, we will continue to mobilize locally, organize events, and elected officials who will be back from their vacancies, we will call in their constituencies during the parliamentary recess. “