French workers, up in arms about President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to undermine their pensions, brought the country to a shuddering halt last Thursday (5 December), crippling road and rail transport, schools, hospitals, Air France, energy giant EDF and many other sectors.
President Macron’s neoliberal pension ‘reforms’ would see workers’ entitlements cut by as much as 30 percent, gutting pension schemes that were won through many years of struggle.
Aware that the outcome of this battle is of critical importance for the whole working class, many workers are not settling for just a one-day strike, but are extending the action. Some of the largest unions urged anyone on what they term a “renewable” strike to carry on over the weekend, and are currently mobilising for another mass walk out today (10 December).
Since most transport workers are already on renewable strikes, train services have been truly scuppered. Road transport was also hit over the weekend as lorry drivers blocked roads in protest at onerous fuel taxes.
Most worrying of all for Macron was the sight of the militant CGT union federation welcoming the yellow vest activists and marching with them shoulder to shoulder.
A united proletariat finding common cause in the struggle against capitalist austerity – this is the stuff of bourgeois nightmares, and of our dearest hopes.