Pensions: the strike movement is weakening but social tension remains high

Pensions: the strike movement is weakening but social tension remains high

On Tuesday, young workers, very hostile to the pension reform, were numerous in the processions, during the sixth mobilization against Emmanuel Macron’s project. On the other hand, the transplant has still not taken hold of high school and university students called to demonstrate this Thursday. A few hundred of them marched in Paris, Rouen or Toulouse, while blockades, often partial, were organized in several high schools and universities.

Not enough to make a major movement, to the chagrin of LFI which, after having failed in its cuckoo strategy with the unions, is trying to bounce back among the youngest. And to the great relief of the executive.

The transplant did not take in young people

Before a new day of inter-union action on Saturday, the pressure is therefore down a notch after a mobilization on Tuesday which slightly exceeded the record of January 31, but without changing in size (1.28 million against 1.27 depending on the policy). A “gray” and not “black” Tuesday, reassured the government. Who knew how to prevent certain fires, as in the road where Clément Beaune defused the conflict. The blockages in the ports, important on Wednesday, have also been lifted for the moment.

But it still continues to bubble in certain sectors. In energy, cuts continue, with a drop in electricity production equivalent to eight nuclear power plants on Thursday. The four French LNG terminals which receive imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) were still shut down, and 13 of the 14 storage sites blocked.

It’s bubbling

Fuel shipments, on the other hand, have resumed from the Esso-ExxonMobil refinery in Port-Jérôme-Gravenchon (Normandy). However, the blocking of shipments continued at the other refineries. Without major repercussions on the service stations for the moment, because very few deposits are blocked on the territory (5 out of 200), which makes it possible to supply the pumps normally.

In transport, the situation is improving very markedly at the RATP, where traffic is almost back to normal, except on the RER B. On the SNCF side, it remains complicated. Thursday, only a third of the TGVs circulated. But more trains should be running this Friday and this weekend (one in two TGVs, 40% of TER). Air remains less affected (20% less flights this weekend).

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“There are more renewable strikes than it seems, it is fueled by a real feeling of contempt from the President of the Republic”, nevertheless assures Frédérique Souillot, the general secretary of Force Ouvrière.

“It can degenerate”

Trade unionists insist on the difficulties in measuring the extent of the movement. “We have a homogeneous social movement, with public and private, therefore more complicated to understand”, insists the leader of a confederation. “For the first time in a long time, there is no phenomenon of proxy strike”, underlines a trade unionist from Bercy, rather more mobilized than the other administrations but, like the others, only on the days of mobilization. While the rate of strikers among civil servants is not breaking records, he mentions teleworking, RTT or days off requested during mobilizations and which are never refused.

The secretary general of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, explained for his part Thursday on France Bleu Loire Océan to observe in the ranks of the militants “a kind of incomprehension, unease and anger which begins to rise”. In companies, “the base is very angry, the government is betting on resignation and people know it”, warns François Hommeril, the president of the CFE-CGC who is “very worried” because “it can really degenerate”. “We are holding out for the moment but many friends want to fight it out, when we write to the head of state that the situation could become explosive, it’s not a joke”, insists one of his counterparts.



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