And now, renewable strike! In processions which paraded, Thursday 23 September, against the pension reform, more and more numerous were the protestors wishing to cross a new notch of mobilization. No longer accompany the movement with simple days of "square" strikes, be repeated, but these extended strikes in public transport, which had the force of the challenge of the social security reform Juppe plan, end 1995. Leaders of the movement, the CGT and the CFDT are are refused to the next step, but the idea will return, this Saturday, where further protests are planned, with the approach of the day of strike on October 12, shortness of breath of participation could enhance the temptation to radicalization.
As time passes and that the Government remains adamant on the heart of its reform - report to 62 years in the legal age of departure and 67 years of age of departure without haircut-, tensions to makes more kinds between partisan of "classical" strikes confederations and followers of more hard movements, such as Labour Force and its old fantasy of general strikeas the FSU and solidarity with their desires to renewable strike. Between the two, the Secretary General of the CGT, Bernard Thibault, attempts to buffer, stirring to circumstances a threat which he knows to not be able to implement.
"The intransigence will dominate, the idea of renewable strikes will gain ground," trained, Friday 10 September, in "The world". But it is the threat of a paper tiger. A warning on how "hire me or I am a misfortune", rather, intended to mobilize the troops only to scare the Government. As strange as it may seem to a public opinion taken aback to see unions give up pushing their advantage, it is highly unlikely that the challenge of the reform of pensions switches in renewable strike. The reality is, in effect, that the major trade union confederations have fear more than they want.
There is, to this, three major reasons. The first is that the risk of failure of this type of strategy is far more than the hope of success. For a renewable strike to be effective, it must be sustainable. "If it lasts three days, it doesn't work", observes, at the top of the State apparatus, an experienced analyst of social movements. However, in times of crisis, fear for the employment and purchasing power, long work stoppages would have an immediate cost for a hypothetical deferred benefit, of a start early retirement.
Other recent items contributed, then, to demystify the power of the renewable strike. One is the establishment, on 1 January 2008, the minimum service in transportation which users were still unable to find, 7 and 23 September, that it was significantly limited disturbance. Less effective, the service from home to school is however, he also, a significant improvement. The other element is new to this kind of movement. The threat has lost much strength since the end of November 2007, the federations of Railroaders threw sponge without nothing after nine days of work stoppage against the reform of the special pension plans.
In the spring of this year, failed though fifteen days of strike initiated by the CGT railwaymen against the reform of the SNCF freight will have given the coup de grace. Regardless, in this case, whether the direction of the society and national Government, which took many. This new report of forces the difference between the movement of 2010 against the pension reform and the 1995 against the Juppe plan. The extendable strike is a luxury that the unions can no longer afford.
The CFDT and the CGT waive brandish this weapon for a great second reason. They fear losing control of a social movement which they are really that it leads to concessions on the part of the power, but do them win in court, popular legitimacy. The Secretary General of the CFDT, François Chérèque, gets a social virginity after the trauma of the endorsement given to the 2003 pension reform. Switch in a tough strike scenario, is to take the risk not only to give back the hand at the base, but also strengthen extremist organizations such as South-rail. The opposite of responsible conduct since the beginning of the movement. And this is what keeps the CGT railwaymen Federation. At the Confederal level, it would also be the set of FO, with which the CFDT and the CGT do not intend share the benefit of the reform of Union representativeness.
Third big Union hesitation is that inevitably focused otherwise limited to only transport and some public services, renewable strike would allow the head of State against employees of the public and private, each stopping work while they are not affected by the reform before 2017 It is soft rod to beat. Reduced to the public sector, a sustainable strike would take this specific aspect that confederations want precisely avoid, conscious contrast to broaden the movement, including private companies or youth. Engage in a long arm of iron as sustainable transportation strike, it would shrink boutiquières claims a challenge which the CGT and the CFDT intend to make a society subject. They have to find another door for exit from the conflict.