"The match is ending," acknowledged Tuesday Laurent Berger, before the Parisian procession set off for this fourteenth day of mobilization against the pension reform since January. "Is it the last one in this format? Obviously, "sweeps without tongue of wood the number one of the CFDT. An opinion shared by the entire reformist camp. "For me, the protest must take another form," agrees Cyril Chabanier of the CFTC.
On the other hand, among radicals, the tone remains much less assertive. "The page is not turned, we will talk about the continuation in interunion," boots Frédéric Souillot, FO. Others want to believe it: "For us, it's not the last," says Benoit Teste, general secretary of the FSU, the teachers' union.
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Still, going to war or not, employee organizations "are subject to the principle of reality," acknowledges Murielle Guilbert, of Solidaires, a union yet recognized as one of the most vindictive. But no one can deny that, despite the participation expected Tuesday by the authorities - between 400,000 and 600,000 people, including 40,000 to 70,000 in Paris - the mobilization is clearly declining. "We will not have figures equivalent to other days," admitted Laurent Berger at noon. In the afternoon, the authorities agreed to note a mobilization at the lowest since January.
If it is affected, the inter-union is far from being sunk, does not cease to repeat with one voice its representatives. "This union, and the balance of power that results from it, is one of the achievements of the social movement," insists Sophie Binet, the boss of the CGT. Rarely in half measures, the president of the union of executives, François Hommeril, does not hesitate to multiply the figures of speech: "The inter-union is like a treasure that should not be squandered. "
The union, unprecedented, should, according to its artisans, still continue in the coming months, beyond the examination, this Friday, of the bill of the Liot group on pensions. On the one hand, employee representatives warned that they would not hesitate to attack the maximum number of implementing decrees on pension reform, two of which have already been published in the Official Journal at the end of the week.
On the other hand, the ceasefire on retreats does not mean the end of the fighting. Many fronts have already been opened and more are expected to follow. Among the main ones cited by the unions, the struggle for purchasing power and the organization of work figure prominently. With the aim in particular of seeing all professional branches raise their minima above the minimum wage. Trade unions also want to make new demands, such as making public aid to companies conditional, for example on ecological or gender equality criteria.
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Discussions with the government, as with employers, are therefore bound to multiply, but not at any price. "We want guarantees on the method and on the substance," pointed once again the leader of the CFDT. At his side, Sophie Binet goes further: "If it is to negotiate on our demands, we will go. If it's just to discuss, it's without us," she warns.
The resumption of contacts does not mean the return of confidence. "If I believed in a change in the government's method, I would be gullible and naïve," concludes Frédéric Souillot of FO.