Despite the Covid-19, the unions are back in the streets

The leader of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, during a demonstration on April 23, 2021. – Bertrand guay

The Covid-19 is there, the mobilization too. For the second year in a row, the unions are celebrating this Saturday, May 1, the International Workers’ Day in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic. “Last year there was frustration not being able to parade. We are resuming our good habits “, rejoiced the secretary general of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, on Europe 1. While the health situation remains delicate,” we are not unconscious (..) we are careful, we are masked ” , he assured.

The central Montreuil called, with FO, the FSU and Solidaires, to make May 1 a “day of mobilization and demonstrations”, “for employment, wages, public services, social protection, freedoms and peace in the world “.

Departure at 2 p.m. from République

The CGT has counted nearly 300 events in France, especially in Nantes, Marseille and Lyon. The authorities expect around 100,000 demonstrators across the country. In 2019, the Ministry of the Interior had counted 164,000 demonstrators, and the CGT 310,000. “We do not expect massive mobilization. What we wanted was to mark the fact that we are there and that we will be there. It’s a warning, ”said FO number one Yves Veyrier on Saturday on France inter.

In Paris, the procession will leave at 2 p.m. from Place de la République in the direction of Place de la Nation, at the call of the four trade unions and youth movements Unef and UNL. The numbers one of the CGT and FO will scroll side by side. The Paris police headquarters indicated that it was planning an “adapted device” to counter the possible “presence of radical elements”, without specifying the number of agents deployed. “It will be a significant device”, according to a police source. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune, the radical left will be part of it. “Yellow vests” have also planned to join the Place de la République.

Virtual CFDT

One year before the presidential election, some political leaders of the left have also announced their presence, like Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI) in Lille, Fabien Roussel (PCF) in Lille also then in Paris, or Olivier Faure (PS) and Julien Bayou (EELV) also in the capital. Some of them highlight the challenge to the unemployment insurance reform, which is due to come into force on July 1 and is unanimously denounced by the five major trade union centers. The cultural sector, which challenges the reform, should swell the ranks from the Odéon theater at noon.

FO also intends to show that “if we must step up against a return of the pension file, we will go up”. The union launches the day in Paris with a tribute to the fighters of the Commune, in front of the wall of the Federates of Père-Lachaise.

Almost at the same time, the CFDT is organizing a virtual gathering with exchanges on Facebook with activists. “Considering the sanitary conditions, we made the choice to make it virtually again this year”, explained Laurent Berger on Saturday on France Info, saying to assume this choice and noting that on May 1 “it is not either the alpha and omega of union mobilization ”. “I believe that the health risk is still real, so we must be careful,” he added, while ensuring not to criticize “the choice of others”.


Source: 20Minutes – Une by

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