The following article was first published as the editorial of workplace bulletins distributed by members of L’Etincelle (The Spark) faction in France.

April 10, 2017

Vote for a revolutionary worker, Vote Philippe Poutou

Philippe Poutou is a worker at Ford near Bordeaux. His programme is first and foremost a collection of emergency measures for the working class.

It is urgent to stop the job hemorrhage. So layoffs must be banned, immediately. It is also urgent to increase everyone’s income. Minimum wage should be €1,800 after tax, and all wages should be increased by €300, at a minimum!

How can it be done?

There are plenty of ways: just take from the profits made by billionaires and major corporations. This is not utopian. The combined wealth of French billionaires went up 21% in one year. The Hollande government gave tens of billions in tax breaks to “help companies be more competitive”. Corporations listed on the CAC40 have distributed 55 billions to their stockholders.

It is also urgent to spread the work among all. It is unacceptable that some workers wear themselves out at work while others are jobless and have little to live on.

We cannot accept that young people struggle while the older workers have to keep working well after turning 60 in order to get a decent pension. Pension reforms made by government after government must be overturned.

Philippe Poutou’s programme is about defending the interests of the working class, employees, unemployed, retirees, against the capitalists and their politicians. These politicians are disturbed that a worker would make the voice of the workers heard, in an election that they think belongs to career politicians wearing suits and friendly with the bosses. So we shouldn’t hesitate:

Let’s shake up their electoral show!

To vote Philippe Poutou means voting against the right that wants to cut public sector jobs, hitting healthcare and education, while it has never hesitated from emptying public treasury.

It also means voting against the left, whose government led the same pro-capitalist policy, such as Hollande’s Work law.

It’s also a way not to shoot ourselves in the foot by voting Le Pen, as bourgeois a candidate as any other. Far from wanting to help the people, she actually seeks to divide workers for the benefit of the powerful. Instead, to vote Poutou means that our enemies are not the immigrant workers or the refugees, but the big stockholders.

Against withdrawal behind national boundaries we must demand freedom of movement, open borders.

Against wars being waged in the interests of the big oil corporations, we must promote solidarity between peoples; we must defend working class internationalism.

To vote Philippe Poutou is a statement that our future depends first on our collective fights, which provide the only way to change the situation. It shows that we are not resigned. It is a way to make the voice of the working class heard, to express its revolt and the necessary fights to come.