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

June 12, 2017

Macron will get a majority of representatives ready to go “forward”. Since Sunday night, the news media keep going on and on about this “historical result”. What’s really historical is the abstention rate (51.29%). So the “tsunami” of La Republique en marche (The Republic moving forward) in the House only involves 6.39 million votes (just over 13% of registered voters), which is 2.27 million less than Macron got on the first round of the presidential election. And now Macron wants to surf this fake tsunami and move forward against workers rights using rulings that will be passed into law as soon as September.

Moving forward to trample us

Now that the big electoral show is almost over, things are about to get going. Macron’s rulings will be like the Work Law on steroids! According to the preview offered by the media:

Collective agreements will follow the agreements “negotiated” where the balance of power is most favourable to the bosses, by prioritising company agreements over branch agreements; layoffs will be facilitated and permanent contracts downgraded; the period during which an appeal can be made to the industrial tribunals will be reduced, and pay compensation for wrongful dismissal will be capped; temporary and fixed term contracts will be facilitated. And we can expect many other attacks, including a 1.7% raise in social security contribution that will hit the retired hard.

The bosses have already started this social war waged upon us. Battles are already fought by workers at GM&S, a subcontractor of the automakers PSA and Renault, for which no buyer has shown up despite government promises. Battles are fought in every workplace where jobs are cut or people are laid off: Engie, Ford, Tati, Mim, Vivarte, Whirlpool, and many others… The government wants to deal a decisive blow on the national level in the hope that we will be paralysed by the sheer scale of the attack.

Our response will be in the streets, not in Parliament

The politicians who strive on spreading electoral illusions and pretend to be in “the opposition” have nothing else for us. The National Front, for instance, is “opposing” nothing: its racist ideas only divide us and serve the bosses.

Melenchon’s Unbowed France also spread a lot of illusions: an “unbowed majority” in parliament, to force Macron into a “coalition” government and “save miles in marches”. What a brilliant political analysis… But no, we cannot fight without strikes and demonstrations, and we cannot replace these by casting a ballot, which cannot do anything against the bosses steamroller as is clear from the last election.

As for the union confederations, some of their leaders pretend to be outraged by the “leaks” about the content of Macron’s rulings, which the government hadn’t told them when they met. Are they so naïve to believe such a government would be loyal to them? A very contained outrage, which changes nothing to the phony dialogue between government and unions.

You can’t negotiate about the weight of your chains: you have to break them. This must be our watchword, if us workers don’t want to be swallowed whole in the coming months. We produce everything in this society, so if we fight we have a lot of power, enough to upturn the table around which they discuss our future, which they promise to be gloomy.