Perhaps it was because of the biting cold on Tuesday, February 7, but the union leaders, perfectly aligned behind the banner at the head of the procession, had never looked so close as on this third day of demonstration against pension reform.
Of course, everyone recognizes a mobilization down by around 15%.
But this fall was expected.
Some French people have already gone on vacation, while others prefer to book for the next stage, Saturday February 11.
On the side of the unions, we preferred to see the glass half full:
"We continue to bring together an impressive number of people"
, welcomed Benoit Teste, secretary general of the FSU.
An opinion obviously shared by Laurent Lescure, secretary general of Unsa, a little further:
“It is the most important movement of the last thirty years”
, he advanced.
In addition, the various centers highlight the support of public opinion.
The latter is currently clearly opposed to the postponement of the age to 64 years.
"which continues to widen by one to two points per day"
, wants to believe François Hommeril, confederal president of the CFE-CGC.
Read also Pensions: these unions tempted by radicalization
No reason, therefore, to question the union unity that has prevailed until now.
A particularly strong feeling among the central reformists, CFDT in the lead, who manage for the moment to impose their vision of the challenge (concentration on specific dates, no renewable strikes, no punch actions).
"The most important thing is above all to preserve the inter-union
," insisted Cyril Chabanier, confederal president of the CFTC.
On the other hand, on the opposite side of the spectrum, the most radical are already campaigning to make an initial assessment of the protest after the four days of mobilizations.
No doubt that the subject of a hardening of the processes will be put on the table, starting with the renewable strikes.
We have been calling from the start to hit harder”
, explains Murielle Guilbert and Simon Duteil, general delegates of Solidaires.
Same story at the CGT where Philippe Martinez warns the government:
"The executive must not be stubborn"
, he warned, otherwise the social movement
"will go up a gear"
Saturday night review
Everything will depend on the crowds on Saturday.
This time, the intersyndicale will simply issue a press release in the evening, without going through a formal press conference.
This does not necessarily reassure the CFDT, which has made this weekend date one of its battle horses.
Certainly, if successful, Laurent Berger will have enough arguments to continue to impose his vision of the fight.
"nothing is excluded"
for the follow-up to be given to the movement, warns the reformist leader.
But the main interested party ensures that the opponents will not fall into the “
” consisting in hindering the French in their daily life by strikes that are too penalizing.
He knows that would affect the popularity of the protests.