Three months that lasts, and nothing helps. Neither the small setbacks of the government (freeze of the increase of fuel taxes, increase of the activity premium …), nor the "great national debate" and marathons meetings orchestrated by Emmanuel Macron widely disseminated on the news channels nor the violence of the police repression (19 éborgnés, 5 hands torn off …). The yellow vests are still there, fewer on the roundabouts which they are now often expelled, but present every Saturday by tens of thousands in the demonstrations. The lightened figures of the Ministry of the Interior (51,400 demonstrators in France on February 9 against 111,010 according to "the yellow number") and contempt of the Minister Christophe Castaner, describing the events as "ritual outings", can not suffice to retract popular anger. And according to a YouGov poll for HuffPost and CNews, carried out on January 30 and 31, 64% of respondents still support the movement (+2 points compared to early January) and 77% believe the mobilization "justified" (+3 points ).
Links are forged with the unions
What was not obvious at the beginning – both yellow jackets are heterogeneous and distrustful of organizations – is taking shape: links are being forged with unions (see "HD" # 645). The call for demonstration and general strike of February 5, at the initiative of the CGT, was relayed by many groups of yellow vests (300,000 participants throughout France, according to the CGT). On both sides, the report is made: claims on wages, pensions, social minima, public services, tax and social justice … are the same.
"This joint work is driving a dynamic," says Céline Verzeletti, a member of the Confederal Bureau of the CGT, "in the face of the very hard position of the government and the employers, it is necessary to register in the long term, to gain in number of demonstrators as strikers ". Hence the idea of "Tuesdays of social urgency", initiatives à la carte organized locally, before a new national call to strike for mid-March, at the end of the "big debate".
In the Bouches-du-Rhône, the first contacts with the yellow vests date from early December. "From clear claims – and without going over the few things we can not associate with – we are together, because we all eat the same bread! "Explains the secretary general of UD CGT Olivier Mateu. Very quickly, the activists realize that many members are on the roundabouts. "We will warn the yellow vests of our initiatives for Tuesdays, and, on our side, we invite our members to demonstrate on Saturday," continues Olivier Mateu, "we must anchor the movement, extend, elevate. And for that, win strikes in companies. "
"Touch the bosses to the wallet"
In Dunkerque (North), François Croquefer, UL CGT, also notes that what was "not obvious at the beginning" was woven little by little, facilitated again by the presence of members of the union at yellow vests. And the dilemma is the same: "For three months, the yellow vests do things that we can not do. But they say: we can not strike … while being aware that last on the crossroads, it will not succeed if we do not manage to touch the boss of the wallet. "The targeted actions of Tuesdays," all at the same time "and" with a media side to take the mayonnaise ", will they unlock the situation?
In Seine-Maritime, the junction was also done very quickly (see next page). As early as November 30, in front of Renault Cléon, yellow jackets took part in an action organized by the CGT for salary increases. "Among the yellow jackets there are many isolated employees far from the unions, pensioners suffering … It is legitimate to be with them," said Pascal Morel, secretary general of UD CGT. In the department, Tuesdays will rely on the notebooks of expression of popular demand, launched by the confederation, and the objective is to get companies that rooms are available to employees to participate in this. "True" big debate, about their hours of work. In perspective, always, the strike. Since Jan. 30, 70% of Saipol's 110 employees (oilseed processing) in Grand-Couronne have stopped work. How to go beyond?
A unitary and structured line
In Haute-Loire, the "all together" is already well advanced. "We have a unitary line with the other trade union organizations," explains Pierre Marsein, secretary general of the UD CGT. And almost all the yellow vests of the department quickly realized that it was necessary to organize themselves to hold and that, if the words were different, the unions also fought for the purchasing power. The call for the February 5 strike and demonstration was signed by the CGT, FO, the CFE-CGC, the CFTC, the FSU, Solidaires and the yellow vests. Result, 2,000 people in demo "If the mobilization had been so strong everywhere, it would have made 600,000 demonstrators throughout France," says Pierre Marsein, "but now we must win the masses and transform the social movement roundabouts strike in the companies ". Here we rely on permanent struggles. In this department, where industrial employment is threatened and public services rolled out, strikes follow one another (ADMR home helpers to employees of the mattress manufacturer Copirel). Why not together?