The Struggle Against Austerity in France
By Anthony Torres, 29 November 2019
Amid an international resurgence of class struggle, it is critical for workers to take control of their struggles from the hands of the corrupt union bureaucracies.
By Will Morrow, 13 August 2019
Every night in Paris, in sprawling tent encampments lying beneath highway overpasses, or in local playgrounds and parks, thousands of refugees go to sleep on the street.
By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 9 December 2018
The French president’s attempts to staunch the protests through a combination of phony concessions and state violence have clearly failed.
By Alex Lantier, 6 December 2018
Jean-Luc Mélenchon's attack on socialism and his proclamation of the political irrelevance of the working class reflect his hostility to growing social anger among workers.
By Alex Lantier, 4 December 2018
With a fourth consecutive Saturday of mass demonstrations against French President Emmanuel Macron’s regressive taxes planned this weekend, tens of thousands of high school students throughout France have staged demonstrations at their schools.
By Anthony Torres, 10 October 2018
As Macron slashes wage levels and basic social rights in France, growing numbers of workers distrust the unions and are calling for a general strike.
By the Socialist Equality Party (France), 9 October 2018
Workers face the choice between President Emmanuel Macron’s social counterrevolution and a revolutionary struggle to bring down the Macron government.
By Anthony Torres, 12 June 2018
Carrefour announced last week that it would close down 272 stores it purchased from the Dia retail chain, laying off thousands of workers.
As the unions continue talks with the government
By Kumaran Ira, 9 April 2018
The trade unions are coordinating with the Macron government to contain the rail workers’ strike movement against the planned privatisation of the French National Railways.
By Anthony Torres and Kumaran Ira, 25 September 2017
On Saturday, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France movement held its national rally in the Place de la République in Paris.
By Alex Lantier, 5 September 2017
By unilaterally rewriting the French Labor Code, Macron is setting into motion a confrontation with the working class with international and revolutionary implications.
By Anthony Torres, 7 August 2017
The Socialist Party has no intention of stopping an anti-worker employment reform that it proposed and largely pushed through under former French President François Hollande.
By Francis Dubois, 18 July 2017
The legislature has opened the way for the government of President Emmanuel Macron to massively increase the exploitation of the French working class.
By Alex Lantier, 23 June 2017
The election of Emmanuel Macron is the outcome of the reactionary policies of the organizations in the so-called French left that broke with Trotskyism.
By Anthony Torres, 10 March 2017
Amidst growing opposition among workers, the trade unions are calling strikes against contracts that the unions themselves have already signed.
15 November 2016
This statement was adopted as the historical and political basis for the founding of the Parti de l’égalité socialiste, the French section of the ICFI.
By Anthony Torres, 12 September 2016
The CGT is inciting nationalist hatred to divide the workers and disorient their opposition to the wars and social cuts of the French government, which it helped elect.
By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 2 September 2016
Well before investigations of the election returns have begun, Paris is demanding that incumbent President Ali Bongo immediately hand over power.
By Alex Lantier, 6 July 2016
The use of the constitution’s Article 49-3 to impose a redraft of the law without a vote in the National Assembly testifies to the Socialist Party’s contempt for democracy.
By Antoine Lerougetel, 2 July 2016
Two anti-El Khomri law protesters, Manon Chelmy and high school student Jules, 18, were sentenced to 90 hours of community service.
By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 1 July 2016
Having already threatened to ban protests against the law under the state of emergency, the PS government is working with the union bureaucracies to wind down opposition.
By Alex Lantier, 24 June 2016
Having pulled back from its attempt to ban demonstrations, the Socialist Party is proposing to outlaw left-wing parties that it considers opposed to the French state.
By Alex Lantier, 23 June 2016
Trade union officials told the Socialist Party government they feared large numbers of people would defy any ban on today's protest in Paris.
By V. Gnana and Alex Lantier, 16 June 2016
Shaken by rising working class opposition, the Socialist Party is signaling that it is prepared to shred basic democratic rights and institute a police state regime to impose austerity.
By Anthony Torres, 13 June 2016
The union bureaucracy is isolating workers, industry by industry, while preparing new talks with the Socialist Party government.
By Alex Lantier, 11 June 2016
Workers also faced criticism from union officials, who pushed for an end to the strike with claims that striking during the Euro cup would reflect badly on their image.
By Andre Damon, 1 June 2016
The resurgence of the class struggle is undermining the intellectual charlatanry that underpinned the ideological dominance of various forms of anti-Marxism over the past half-century.
By Alex Lantier and Johannes Stern, 27 May 2016
Hundreds of thousands of people marched throughout France Thursday in the eighth nationwide protest against the anti-worker law implemented earlier this month.
By Nick Beams, 25 May 2016
The aim of the “structural reforms” demanded by the IMF and the financial elites is the destruction of all the social gains of the European working class won in the past seven decades.
By Kumaran Ira, 23 May 2016
The Socialist Party is sending riot police to break up refinery strikes as they cause fuel shortages across France.
By Alex Lantier, 20 May 2016
Contrary to official claims, the state of emergency is not aimed at Islamist terrorism, but at growing opposition in the working class to social austerity and military and police violence.
By Stéphane Hugues, 17 May 2016
Even though this illegitimate and regressive law has technically been passed, a majority of the French people want protests against it to continue.
By Alex Lantier, 13 May 2016
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated across France yesterday against the Socialist Party’s efforts to impose far reaching reforms without a vote in the National Assembly.
By Alex Lantier, 13 May 2016
The most politically conscious and advanced layers of workers and youth must prepare themselves not only for the mass struggles that will erupt, but for socialist revolution.
By Alex Lantier, 12 May 2016
Protesters clashed violently with police and sacked the headquarters of the ruling Socialist Party in several cities across France.
By Alex Lantier, 29 April 2016
The protesters are coming up against the absence of a viable strategy for mounting a political struggle to defend basic social rights against a reactionary Socialist Party government.
By Antoine Lerougetel, 29 April 2016
A WSWS team spoke to protesting youth who unanimously criticised the strategy of the trade and student unions as insufficient to struggle against the labour reform.
By Kumaran Ira and Anthony Torres, 25 March 2016
Students protesting the French labour reform expressed their opposition to the Socialist Party’s austerity measures, state of emergency and imperialist wars.
By Kumaran Ira, 14 October 2015
The arrest of the strikers is a deliberate act of political intimidation aimed at the working class as a whole, which is broadly sympathetic to the strikers.
By Antoine Lerougetel, 23 September 2015
The workers’ decision to accept unpaid working hours in exchange for supposed job security was a vote of no confidence in the unions.
By Kumaran Ira, 7 April 2015
The French business group Medef is calling for the creation of a new type of job contract in order to facilitate individual and mass sackings of workers.
By Kumaran Ira, 4 March 2015
After pushing through the Macron Law on deregulation, the PS government is preparing a further round of sweeping austerity measures and structural reforms.
By Joseph Kishore and Alex Lantier, 20 January 2015
By opening its pages to Le Pen, the New York Times has signaled that powerful sections of the ruling class view anti-Muslim racism as a legitimate part of the public debate.
By Francis Dubois, 11 December 2014
The National Front's advance can be explained, above all, by the naked bankruptcy of the Socialist Party and its pseudo-left allies, such as the NPA.
By Stéphane Hugues, 18 October 2014
Benefits paid to all families with children in France since the end of World War II are being slashed by Hollande's Socialist Party government.
By our reporters, 24 September 2014
Faced with growing opposition from different sections of Air France workers, the airline may postpone the full implementation of its low-cost subsidiary Transavia-Europe.
By Anthony Torres, 8 September 2014
The NPA will continue to defend the current government, France’s most right-wing regime since the World War II-era fascist government of Vichy.
By Pierre Mabut, 2 September 2014
The trade union bureaucracy opposes strike action to challenge the deeply unpopular Valls government, lest it fall.
By Alex Lantier, 26 August 2014
President Hollande dissolved the government Monday, firing leading ministers who had publicly attacked his deeply unpopular austerity policies.
By Anthony Torres, 19 June 2014
Approximately 1,000 demonstrators gathered in Paris on June 17 to protest the Socialist Party government’s planned privatization of the French railways.
By Kumaran Ira, 16 June 2014
Nationwide strikes involving rail and cultural workers reflect rising social opposition to the Socialist Party government.
By Alex Lantier and Stéphane Hugues, 19 March 2014
Workers see one-day protests called by unions that are negotiating austerity policies as a political charade.
By Kumaran Ira, 12 March 2014
France’s unions are collaborating with President Hollande on the implementation of an austerity program that intensifies attacks on workers’ living standards.
By Anthony Torres, 27 June 2013
The NPA is trying to bring the popular opposition to the Socialist Party’s austerity policies into the dead end of support for the Left Front and the union bureaucracy.
By Antoine Lerougetel and Pierre Mabut, 17 June 2013
On May 17, CGT branch spokesman Jean-Pierre Mercier signed a deal that puts the seal on the Aulnay car plant’s closure by 2014.
4 May 2011
WSWS author Anthony Torres responds to a CGT executive defending the recent reform of France’s industrial ports.
By Anthony Torres, 30 April 2011
The CGT has signed and praised a new national collective agreement attacking the social conditions of French port workers.
By Anthony Torres, 4 February 2011
Last month, the leader of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), Bernard Thibault, did not attend the traditional New Year’s presidential ceremony at the Elysée Palace, and reproached Sarkozy for ignoring the unions as he gutted retirement benefits.
By Anthony Torres, 11 January 2011
The French magazine Politis has launched a petition drive asking voters to pronounce themselves for or against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension reforms.
28 December 2010
A letter and reply on “How France’s unions aided police strike-breaking at Grandpuits refinery”
By Alex Lantier, 10 December 2010
The French middle-class left organisation Lutte Ouvrière has published its balance sheet of the October-November strikes against pension cuts, which whitewashes the unions’ betrayal of the strike.
By Kumaran Ira and Antoine Lerougetel, 9 December 2010
Emerging reports on the October oil strike in France show that union officials directly helped police break the workers’ occupation of the Grandpuits refinery.
By Pierre Mabut, 20 November 2010
After defying mass popular opposition to impose pension cuts, French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave a TV interview in which he laid out his right-wing agenda.
By Kumaran Ira, 20 November 2010
On November 9, the executive council of the Socialist Party (PS) adopted a text on "Real Equality," presented as a road map for the next 15 years.
By Alex Lantier, 17 November 2010
The NPA held a meeting last weekend to take stock of the October strikes against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension cuts and prepare its next national Congress.
By Alex Lantier, 16 November 2010
President Nicolas Sarkozy’s reshuffling of the cabinet is his first major decision after the defeat of last month’s strikes against his pension cuts.
By Alex Lantier, 11 November 2010
The betrayal of the strikes in France against President Sarkozy’s pension cuts underscores the need for a political balance sheet of the struggles waged against social cuts adopted by European governments.
By Alex Lantier, 10 November 2010
France’s Constitutional Council threw out a legal challenge to President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension-cutting law, passed by parliament October 27 despite overwhelming popular opposition and a wave of strikes.
By Anthony Torres, 10 November 2010
During the recent strike wave in France against the Sarkozy government’s austerity measures and pension “reform”, demonstrators observed police infiltrating several contingents and carrying out a variety of provocative actions.
By Antoine Lerougetel, 8 November 2010
Over 1 million people marched Saturday in the eighth national day of action against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension cuts.
By Alex Lantier, 8 November 2010
Last month’s weeks-long oil strike in France has exposed the charlatanry of various pseudo-left “critics” of the trade unions, who either fled for cover or preached surrender at the first serious industrial struggle.
By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 6 November 2010
Unions sought to isolate workers striking against Sarkozy’s pension cuts and discourage participation in today’s one-day national protest, while building support for the bourgeois “left” Socialist Party.
By Alex Lantier, 5 November 2010
In deciding to call a one-day protest at the end of November, French unions are trying to contain popular demands for more opposition to social austerity, while making clear that they will not support ongoing protest actions against the government.
By Alex Lantier, 3 November 2010
Continuing strikes and calls for student resistance to President Sarkozy’s social cuts, after the defeat of the recent oil strike against pension cuts, pose even more sharply the need for a political struggle to bring down the government.
By Alex Lantier, 1 November 2010
The New Anti-capitalist Party has responded to the isolation and sell-out of the oil strike against French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension cuts by covering for the trade unions and France’s “left” big-business party, the Socialist Party.
By Antoine Lerougetel, 30 October 2010
WSWS teams attended demonstrations in Paris, Marseille, Nice and Amiens during the October 28 national strike and day of action called against the pension cuts of President Nicolas Sarkozy.
By Kumaran Ira and Alex Lantier, 29 October 2010
An estimated two million people protested in France Thursday against a pension-cutting law passed by the French Parliament over mass popular opposition.
By Alex Lantier, 28 October 2010
Strikes continued yesterday against President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension cuts, despite the National Assembly’s approval of the final pension bill passed by the Senate.
By Alex Lantier, 27 October 2010
Echoing the ruling class’ demands that workers abide by the Senate vote for President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension “reform,” French trade union officials are pushing to end the strike movement against the cuts.
By Alex Lantier, 26 October 2010
Government officials struggled yesterday to limit ongoing strikes against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension “reform.”
By Alex Lantier, 25 October 2010
Workers and students continued to mount strike action over the weekend against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension cuts.
By Alex Lantier, 25 October 2010
In an interview with Le Monde, sociologist and NPA member Philippe Corcuff insisted that workers should limit themselves to “playful” protests against Sarkozy’s social cuts and strikebreaking.
As police attack refinery strikers
By Alex Lantier, 23 October 2010
The French Senate voted 177-153 yesterday to approve President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension cuts in the face of overwhelming popular opposition and continuing strikes.
By Alex Lantier, 22 October 2010
Police action to break strikes and blockades in the oil sector has not ended France’s fuel shortage or curtailed strikes and protests by workers and students against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s deeply unpopular pension cuts.
By Alex Lantier, 21 October 2010
President Nicolas Sarkozy promised to break strikes against his government’s pension cuts and social austerity policies yesterday, sending riot police and army civil service units to disperse picket lines and end oil depot occupations.
By Kumaran Ira, 21 October 2010
WSWS reporters in Paris spoke to demonstrators marching against Sarkozy’s pension cuts in the national one-day protest organized by the trade unions on October 19.
By Anthony Torres, 21 October 2010
The French government gave the order Friday morning, October 15, to send in the CRS riot police to unblock the Fos oil depot occupied by workers near Marseille in southern France.
By Alex Lantier, 20 October 2010
An estimated 3.5 million workers and students marched nationwide in France yesterday in a day of action called to oppose pension cuts demanded by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
By Barry Grey, 20 October 2010
The growing struggles of the working class in Europe and internationally against mass unemployment and government austerity policies are exposing the reality behind the façade of bourgeois democracy.
By Alex Lantier, 19 October 2010
Strikes against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s austerity policies continued to spread yesterday, despite Sarkozy’s statements that he was determined to press ahead with the cuts.
By Joseph Kishore, 19 October 2010
The spreading strike wave in France against pension cuts is the latest and most developed expression of a new stage in the class struggle—the entry of the international working class into conflict with the capitalist system.
19 October 2010
Workers and students from all over France responded to the call for a “Day of Action” against the Sarkozy government’s austerity policies, which include the raising of the retirement age from 60 to 62 years. The WSWS has photos from Paris and Nice.
By Antoine Lerougetel, 19 October 2010
Millions of workers and students took to the streets in France October 16 to protest President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension cuts.
By Alex Lantier, 18 October 2010
After CRS riot police broke workers’ occupations of three key oil depots Friday, French unions are aligning themselves with government moves to end strikes against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s unpopular pension cuts.
By Alex Lantier, 18 October 2010
The mass strikes mounted in the last week by workers in France against the pension cuts of President Nicolas Sarkozy have attracted the ire of Roger Cohen, the New York Times’ chief foreign affairs editor.
By Alex Lantier, 15 October 2010
Strikes by workers and students continued in France yesterday, as the government refuses to retract its pension cuts, and high school students carried out mass protests against the reform.
By Alex Lantier, 15 October 2010
Despite their efforts to appear “left” in demonstrations and on television, the NPA’s politics are not based on preparing mass industrial action by the workers against the government, but on tying protest actions to pro-business forces in the political establishment.
By Alex Lantier, 14 October 2010
The rising opposition to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's austerity policies can find political expression only through a rebellion by the working class against the trade unions and the bourgeois “left” parties.