Issued by the Office of the Chairperson
ILPS International Coordinating Committee
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) extends its firm and full support to the French youth and workers who are protesting against the new anti-labor reforms that the Hollande government wants to impose on the French working people. The reforms would relax the 35-hour work week and other labor rules that protect the interests of workers.
Trade unions and student organizations have joined forces to mount protest actions across France. Under the proposed anti-labor reforms, the current 35-work week would be maintained but companies would also be allowed to apply alternative working times including a work week of 48 hours and 12-hour days. Overtime bonus would be cut down to 10 percent from the current 25 percent. The proposed law would also make it easier and less costly for companies to lay off workers.
Protests have spread across France with demonstrations held in Strasbourg, Toulouse, Marseille, Rouen, Rennes and other cities. Last March 31, some 400,000 students marched in several cities across the country in a movement called “Nuit Debout” (Rise up at Night). Youth and students have been camping out at the Place de Republique. The police have repeatedly sought to violently to disperse the crowds by attacking with tear gas and pepper spray.
A petition against the proposed anti-labor reforms has been signed by over 1.2 million people. A survey conducted showed that 71% of the people are opposed to the proposed labor reforms.
These anti-labor reforms are being implemented in the face of the global capitalist crisis that broke out in 2008 and has continued to the present. They are austerity measures taken by bourgeois governments against the people in a futile attempt to countervail public deficits, the mounting debt and inflation.
The bourgeois governments think one-sidedly that they are stabilizing public finance and coming to the rescue of the capitalist companies by attacking whatever remain of the social benefits and protection the workers have won through struggle in the past.
But in fact they are further decreasing the people’s income and purchasing power, aggravating the stagnation and constriction of the economy and the market and worsening the crisis of overproduction and financial crisis.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) extends its resolute and militant solidarity to the millions of French youth and workers who are protesting against this latest attack on the rights of the working people and support their struggle for a decent life and a better future.