CGT leads street protests in France
Responding to CGT’s call, more than a hundred worker rallies and demonstrations were organised in France on September 17 to
demand wages increases, more jobs, an end to pension reform, stronger ecological policies and a fairer distribution of the nation’s wealth. Paris, Marseille and Toulouse were some of the centers of these huge demonstrations.
The protesters also expressed their disappointment over the EUR 100 billion stimulus package unveiled by the government this month. The unions lamented the "absence" of measures for "second line" workers and compensation for companies amidst the pandemic. CGT said that in 2019, EUR 60 billion was paid to shareholders of CAC40 companies and another EUR 90 billion was exempted from the employers’ social contributions and tax benefits of all kinds to companies again this year.
“This month of September is exceptionally different. On top of the dramatic health consequences of the pandemic, the government implemented regressive social measures devoid of any consultations from the unions. There is a lot of anger among workers,” CGT leader Philippe Martinez said.
CGT said that it was happy with the turnout of the protests despite a ban on big gatherings.
“This health crisis has shown us all that another way is possible. Our union, FNSCBA CGT, is determined to build the city of tomorrow which is more humane, equitable and sustainable,” Bruno Botha, General Secretary of the union, said.
Various unions, such as the FSU, Solidaires and different youth organisations, joined the mass actions.