Constant attacks on the social security and pensions systems by the government are bringing into question the very principles of solidarity and universality which form the basis of the welfare state in France.

Today, under the pretext of attacking unfair’privileges’, the government is attacking rail-workers pensions, tomorrow, they’ll be after the rest of us, public and private. For a start from 2009 you’ll need 41 years of contributions for a pension and 42 years from 2013. If you want to look for the real ’unfair privileges start with the bosses: since 1991 they have been excused their share of social security contributions, that’s a gift of over 200 billion euros. The goverrnment dare to talk of a shortfall in the social security fund when they created it deliberately! Now they want to use this suposed shortfall to justify a movement from a healthcare system based on solidarity to one based on private insurance, and of course profit!


With the loss of 23000 posts planned for 2008 and 50000-60000 for each of the following years and recruiting new staff under private rather than civil service contracts we are seeing the death of public service.

These posts are disappearing from schools, hospitals and other services, showing complete contempt for the people who rely upon them. To fight unemployment and improve services we need a massive hiring policy. There will inevitably be a profound effect on the quality of public services, which always has the greatest effect on those most in need, reinforcing existing inequalities.The role of public services in a society reflects the choices that it has made and today we can see a capitalist society that is becoming more and more unequal and authoritarian.


The attacks on the Welfare state and public services go hand in hand with attacks on employment conditions. To better casualise workers, to attack our right to strike, to make us keep quiet when foreigners are attacked, to better turn our anger from those responsible onto immigrant workers who, unlike the bosses, actually pay social security contributions that fund pensions and social security.

There are other solutions. Simply ordering employers to pay the contributions that they haven’t had to pay since 1991 would make up the ’shortfall’. Widespread recruitment of young people where workers are needed would also permit older workers to take well-earned retirement. The taxation of speculation, the end to gifts (exemptions, stock options, golden parachutes) could be invested in the publics services that are so necessary for the whole population.

All these attacks are against workers, we have to say Stop! Stop this government that enriches the rich and impoverishes the poor!

In 1995 rail-workers, postal workers, teachers and private sector workers prevented the impementation of Juppé’s plan for the social security system.

In 2006 schoolchildren and young people from working class backgrounds forced the abandonment of the CPE (contrat première embauche, first employment contract).

Workers’ power comes from organisation, struggle and strikes. If they attack us from every side then we have to fight back on all sides. Let’s make October 18th the first step in a general movement against a government that works for the bosses.

Let’s show them that their are other ways to share wealth!

One day of strike action is not enough to make the government give in. We must prepare for an all-out strike and the best place to start is by speaking at the inter-professional general meetings.