Demonstrations are planned across France on Thursday, at the call of trade unions and youth organizations, to demand wage increases, in a context marked by the return in force of the question of purchasing power to a few presidential weeks.
Some 170 rallies and parades will take place at the call of the CGT, FO, FSU and Solidaires unions, according to Céline Verzeletti, CGT confederal leader.
“We really think we’re doing a lot more than October 5,” she told AFP. This day of interprofessional mobilization brought together 85,400 people according to the Ministry of the Interior, and more than 160,000 according to the CGT.
In Paris, the demonstrators will meet around noon at Place de la Bastille for a “meeting concert”, during which the union leaders will speak, before setting off around 2 p.m. in the direction of Bercy.
High school students should meet at Place de la Nation at 11 a.m.
Political figures will also be present, at a time when opinion polls put the issue of purchasing power at the top of voters’ concerns. The presidential candidates Fabien Roussel (PCF), Yannick Jadot (EELV) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI) have been announced. Anne Hidalgo (PS) will be in Mayenne, according to those around her.
Among the demonstrators, should be the employees mobilized in recent weeks, in particular from the sectors of industry, agri-food, commerce, the public service, according to Ms. Verzeletti.
Teachers, already on the streets on January 13 and 20 to protest against the management of the Covid-19 health crisis at school, will be “nearly 20%” to be on strike in the first degree, according to the Snuipp union -FSU, which represents kindergarten and elementary school teachers.
On the public transport side, the circulation of regional trains will be slightly disrupted, according to the SNCF. In Ile-de-France, one in three trains will run on the RER B North line. On the RER A, C, D and line H of the Transilien, the offer will be three trains out of four.
– High inflation –
The organizers are calling for an increase in the minimum wage and the index point for civil servants, and more generally of all salaries, allowances and retirement pensions, in a context of high inflation (+2.8% over one year in December) and record dividends.
“Let’s stop saying that the salary is the enemy of employment”, especially since the context is that of “strong inflation”, estimated Wednesday with AFP the secretary general of Force Ouvrière, Yves Veyrier .
The unions deplore that there has been no boost to the minimum wage during the five-year term, beyond the automatic increases, and no further raising of the index point.
The number one of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, also hammers the need to raise wages, especially those of so-called “second line” workers.
But the first French union will not join forces with the intersyndicale on Thursday. “It is the multiplication of concrete and targeted initiatives that will make the result. Not the big interprofessional event. The catchall does not work”, he pleads.
The CFDT has decided to organize on its side on February 3 “a march of essential workers”, which should bring together several hundred people in the west of Paris.
The organizers of Thursday’s mobilization have already met on Friday morning for a meeting to decide on the follow-up to the movement, to which Unsa and CFE-CGC have announced their attendance. “The trade union arc seems to be widening,” rejoiced Ms. Verzeletti to AFP.