At the Thursday demonstration in Paris. - Kamil Zihnioglu / AP / SIPA
This is the great paradox of this long social movement against pension reform: according to the polls, it is rather popular, but in the street, beyond the civil servants, there are few private employees to strike. Until then, the calls to relay the railroad workers have fallen on deaf ears. We do not discover the phenomenon: strikes are less frequent, to put it mildly, in private companies. But 20 Minutes asked its private readers supporting the strike why they didn't stop working themselves. As much to say it right away: only one private employee who contacted us said to be on strike for twenty days.
For the others, the first argument is of course that of money. Most of those who answered said they could not "afford" to lose a day's wages, let alone several. "I work in an SME, alone to raise my daughter," says Martine. "When you are a single-parent family with an already limited salary, you cannot afford to lose a day's salary," confirms Isabelle. For David, a worker, the consequences would be even greater: “Half of my pay slip is a productivity bonus. "
Compensation with strike funds
Frédéric and a few others tell us that he nevertheless demonstrated on Saturdays, when a mobilization day was organized. Many also say they participate in strike funds, which have also had some success, "to compensate". For Jo, going to demonstrate remains subject to the resourcefulness: "Two-thirds commercial attaché to the commission, fixed at € 900 gross: that's my situation. So it's difficult to strike in an SME. However, I organize myself. I demonstrate during my break hours and join the processions, between noon and two. "
Maëlle notes that the timing "just before the annual interviews" is not ideal for declaring oneself on strike. Nadine, a nursing assistant, has a job that is difficult to reconcile with the work stoppage to protest: “I am a nursing assistant in a home nursing association. I support the movement but cannot go on strike, it would put the service (my colleagues) and the patients in danger. Hélène is a liberal nurse: "It is unthinkable to stop care ..."
The question of status also necessarily arises. Several apprentices contacted us in particular. And especially many precarious, CDD, who simply risk their job by declaring themselves on strike. "Going on strike when you are on a renewable fixed-term contract is the door open to a quick end of contract," says Sophie. In addition, it would be super-frowned upon because now unions and strikes are frowned upon apparently. "
The lack of presence or strength of unions is also pointed out. "I work in the private sector, in a large web company," says Moshe. I support strikes 100% but unfortunately I do not have a union organization in my company that can support me (the only one being CFDT) if I go on strike and I am afraid of being ostracized quickly and put to work. cupboard. This also translates into a feeling of loneliness when one is possibly motivated by the strike, like Alexandra: "I would have liked to demonstrate but it would be incongruous to be the only one to strike. "
A virtual right
"Incongruous". This goes to show to what extent the right to strike is regularly a fictitious right for many employees. How many of those who answered fear the "Pôle emploi" box. "I work in the hotel industry and it is very frowned upon," warns Claire, but this observation seems general among our sample. Cyril works in a VSE: “My colleague and I would be bullied by the boss and we would put the box in a delicate situation. "
For a right, the right to strike, protected in the Constitution, that doesn't give a damn. The observation made by Dominique, former CFE-CGC delegate, is final: “Yes, private sector employees can be pressured within their companies and are afraid to go to protest and go on strike. For their union representatives, it is the same thing and even more since the El Khomri laws and the Pénicaud ordinances. These laws have weakened their positions within companies, weakened them. "
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Strike against pension reform: 187,000 demonstrators in France according to the Interior Ministry, the CGT claims 250,000 in Paris…
- Pension reform