France: general strike against the anti-retirement decree!

Here we share the article published on March 17 on, website of the revolutionary wing of the NPA, party in which the comrades of the ISL organize in France.

Macron used (decree) 49.3 to pass his rogue reform in the Assembly. He has sought a majority among the deputies for months and spoken of the “legitimacy” of his project. But here he is, forced at the very last minute to make a repugnant approval by force… At the same time we are glad, because it is an expression of weakness. A great majority of deputies are in favor of making us die for the bosses. But in the face of the anger of the working people, in the face of the massive marches and the strikes that continue, they have not assumed their responsibility. The supporters of the reform have cracked under pressure. Doubts and resignation are changing sides. Yes, we can win, we can get them to back down on reform and more. If we strike while the iron is hot and boost our strength by joining the garbage collectors, the railroad workers, the electricians and all workers committed to the indefinite strike.

Political crisis or institutional patch?

To govern at the service of the bosses is hard work. This president of the rich is more isolated than ever. His close allies, and even some of his deputies, are distancing themselves to the point that it is becoming possible that a motion of censure could bring down the government of Elisabeth Borne – and with it his reform.

This last-minute opposition is fundamentally in favor of all the employers’ attacks, including the pension reform. The Republicans had made the bulk of their presidential campaign on raising the legal age to 65 like Macron, but also like Zemmour and Marion MarĂ©chal-Le Pen! If these people are willing to let go of the government’s hand, even if it is to weaken this project they are so fond of, it is only to further their own political interests. Once in power, they would do it again.

The National Grouping claims to be in favor of the return of the retirement age to 60. But not fully: the “right” to retire at 60 with a miserable retirement? No thanks! Marine Le Pen systematically declares herself against any increase in the minimum wage and proposes the idea of increasing -just a little- the net wage by lowering the gross wage so that it does not cost the bosses anything, that is to say, the end of the contributions which finance pensions, unemployment insurance and health care. The extreme right only wants the workers for their votes, if it came to power it would carry out the same pro-business policies as Macron, accompanied by rampant racism which is its trademark.

As for the reformist left, it was them who increased to 43 the number of years of service to reach full credit in 2014, under Hollande’s presidency, in a government that grouped the Socialists (PS) and the Greens, now in the Nupes.

Workers can only count on their own strength.

A setback for Macron that starts the beginning of the second half

Anger at the stubbornness of the government, coupled with the satisfaction of having stopped the well-drawn plan of a vote in the Assembly, returns the advantage to the workers in the arm-wrestling between Macron and the bosses.

On Thursday evening, despite the police repression and tear gas, tens of thousands of people spontaneously took to the streets in cities all over the country. Since the beginning of the movement, millions of workers have participated in demonstrations. The strikes have been massive during the days of action and, since March 7, railwaymen, electricians and garbage collectors have been on strike every day, it could even be prolonged. No electricity for Larcher (President of the Senate)! There is also no garbage collection in the luxurious neighborhoods of the capital.

Our strength as workers is the strike. Neither the CRS (Republican Police Security Companies), nor the senators nor the employers are going to run the trains or produce cars. The few sectors that have been on strike for ten days make Macron tremble and trigger a political crisis. So, what would happen if millions of us joined them!

We have to discuss as soon as possible everywhere the need to organize ourselves to join those who are on a retrievable strike. We can decide from the grassroots what our slogans and modes of action are in the general assemblies, electing strike committees, grouping and coordinating all those who want to take a further step in the mobilization.

Ending Macron and his world

Isn’t it the street that rules? Maybe not yet, but it’s not the Assembly either! What about the Elysee Government Palace? A few hours after his decree 49.3, Macron said that he could not withdraw his project because “the financial and economic risks are too great.” So it is money that rules, or rather, those who have more money. Macron and Borne are nothing more than the servants, certainly jealous, of the shareholders of the big banks, the financial sharks and the owners of the big capitalist groups who want to exploit us even more.

But we will not die for the employer. Pensions, salaries, working conditions, it’s time to put an end to the generalized offensive that makes us lose on all fronts and to advance our demands: end of working career, end of month, the same struggle. We are beginning to realize our immense strength as workers. We have the strength not only to achieve the total withdrawal of this reform, but also to promote our demands for employment and wage increases. And to change society and put an end to the law of capitalist profit: we are the ones who work, we are the ones who fight, we are the ones who decide!

Executive Committee of the NPA