Defeats seem to govern our times: massive increases in redundancy; the suicides of workers devastated by the management policies of France Telecom and Renault; the expulsion of undocumented residents (sans-papiers) by the police in Calais or by the “security” group of the CGT in Paris; crackdown on unions in Kanaky (USTKE), Nîmes (CNT), Grenoble (CNT), and elsewhere; the firing of Flash-Ball guns, maiming our youth; the reduction of the farmers’ community to despair; the destruction of public utilities; the indifference of the political class toward the employees of Molex, ready to blow up their equipment for a more decent life; racist talk from a minister encouraged by his peers.
The blows fall, our breath is sometimes cut off, and relief is long in coming…
It is vain to wait for emergency relief; that’s only for the banks.
It is vain to hope for the political “left-wing” to get organized; too far removed from our social reality, it is bogged down in pathetic struggles between ego and power.
It is vain to expect relief from a swift and clever trade union response; the biggest confederations are too busy negotiating the terms of joint management with the government.
It is vain to wait for capitalism to reform itself; it’s too busy working on making us forget what it really is: a crushing machine, which generates profits for a handful of the wealthiest.
Relief will only come from us. The employees at “Conti” and SBFM understood it, the Kanaky and Guadeloupian workers as well. Wherever workers organize themselves in their struggle to have their rights respected and to obtain new ones, society moves forward. Up against a unionism of joint administration with corporate managements that are negotiating our defeats and curtailing our struggles, it is time to develop a class-conscious trade-unionism, interprofessional and forceful, and with a true plan for anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian social reform.
Because today, the government and the employers couldn’t care less about a few days of disparate (in)action carried out under a façade of trade unionism. Our social struggles know no rest, whatever the bureaucracy may think.
The CNT calls upon all workers – employed, unemployed, and temporary – to build a movement based on direct democracy, moving toward a general, renewable strike.
The times are tough, and our response should be even more so.