Between 1,500 and 4,000 people marched in Lyon, Thursday, January 27, for a day of strike and interprofessional demonstration to demand higher wages and purchasing power. Very varied, the procession brought together all ages and all professions. And the subject of the presidential election has infiltrated the discussions.
The biting cold in Lyon did not discourage the strikers. They were 1500 according to the prefecture, and 4000 according to the unions, to march between Brotteaux and the Prefecture of Lyon Thursday, January 27 at the call of the inter-union. “Everything increases except our wages“, “it is our work that creates wealth“, “Increase wages without compensation!“. The watchwords posted on the placards are clear. And stick to the concerns of the French. According to a survey France Inter-Ipsos of January 23, purchasing power is the main subject that interests the inhabitants of France, three months before the presidential election. This is followed by the health system and the environment.
Railway workers, teachers, students, delivery men, retirees, private sector employees… the profiles of the demonstrators in Lyon all concern society. Lyon Capital went to meet those who marched, and their expectations.
“It would take an increase of at least 400 euros in wages to catch up with inflation“, Quentin Beaud, co-secretary of the CGT Educ’Action du Rhône
Many in the long procession, alongside the SNUIPP-FSU, Sud Education or the CGT Educ’Action, the education staff are particularly upset Two weeks ago, on January 13, the education staff, they were already on strike. Against changes in health protocol, but above all for their salaries, better working conditions and the hiring of additional staff. “The demand for wage increases has long been carried by the CGT with a minimum wage of 1,500 euros and 2,000 euros in the long term.begins Quentin Beaud, before talking more about the situation of teachers. “The freezing of the index point for teachers has lowered their purchasing power. Who wants to do our job under these conditions? It would take an increase of at least 400 euros in wages to catch up with inflation”, he is indignant. On November 18, 2021, a senatorial report pointed out that over the past 20 years, French teachers have lost 15 to 25% of remuneration.
The trade unionist wants to draw attention to two particularly precarious professions within the National Education system: Accompanying students with disabilities (AESH) and Education Assistants (AED), for whom he is asking for salary increases and permanent jobs. “The AESH are paid below the minimum wage, with 26-hour contracts. The inclusion that the ministry boasts of is at the cost of the precariousness of the staff”he finished.
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“The problem is ultra-liberalism which breaks everything that is social“, Patricia, yellow vest and retired
The yellow of their vest was quite rare in this interprofessional event. Perhaps the yellow vests have hung it up, to blend in with the mass of demonstrators, adopt the red of the unions or the clothes of a lambda demonstrator. But Patricia, well recognizable, paces the procession dressed in fluorescent yellow. In the tradition of yellow vests, she wears signs almost overloaded with writing, taped to her, around her head, carried by hand. This retiree is mobilizing for wage increases and “the most important, global warming”.
“I am retired and I earn 950 euros a month. Macron had promised that there would be no pensioners under 1000 euros a month. But the first thing he chose was to remove the ‘ Wealth tax”, she underlines, bitter. Very critical of the current President of the Republic, “Ultra Liberal” according to her, she supports Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s program for the upcoming presidential election. “I was for the union of the left. I would have liked them all to put themselves in the Popular Primary. It’s hopeless because the left will not be in the second round…”laments the retiree.
The subject of the presidential election found itself sown here and there in the demonstration, entirely embodied by left-wing parties. Leaflets bearing the image of Nathalie Artaud or Fabien Roussel were distributed along the procession, flags of France Insoumise and the New Anti-Capitalist Party.
“Inflation is 3% and we’ve been raised 20 bucks“, Ludovic Rioux, delivery man and trade unionist at the CGT Just’Eat
Precarious among the precarious, the deliverers of the delivery platforms formed a small procession of around ten people in the demonstration. Often auto-entrepreneurs, when they work for Ubereats or Deliveroo, some have managed to be employees by dint of struggle, like at Just Eat. However, they remain dissatisfied with their working conditions and salaries. To tell us about their working conditions, a delivery man accompanied by his bike calls us “Ludo”. “He is the one who will be the most able to talk to you.“, adds the delivery man. “We are on strike on this interprofessional date for a central question, that of wages. Inflation is 3% and we have been increased by 20 balls”, unpacks Ludovic, in one go. The speech is well established, the claims produced tit for tat.
“We are asking for a salary increase to 2000 euros gross, 100% support for our equipment, bicycles and telephones by Just Eat, and an improvement in our working conditions, in terms of planning, and access to a room. to warm up“, unfolds Ludovic Rioux. He mentions the 3 p.m. contracts, which push delivery people to combine jobs and work the majority of the evenings of the week, at the whim of the employer. Working conditions that do not produce their attractive work . “The turnover is staggering“, he explains.
“We refuse to be the sacrificed generation”, Karel Talali, president of the UNEF Lyon union
During the health crisis, the long lines of students looking for food parcels stirred public opinion. A protest group from several student unions found themselves in the interprofessional procession in Lyon. “Since covid, it’s been more and more of a hassle, there’s more and more student precariousness. And Macron’s response is to say that there are too many students and therefore to make the ‘paying university’, storm Karel Talali, president of the student union UNEF Lyon. “We will not be able to stay permanently in a system where higher education has no price for almost all students”, had launched the President of the Republic on January 13, before retracting in the face of the controversy, and later qualify his remarks, evoking “professional training” “paid” to finance the university.
“As it’s an intepro date, we’re mainly here to bring the fight together. They say it quite well in the megaphone by the way”underlines Karel, while members of his union launch the slogan”the young in the galley, the old in misery, of this society there, we don’t want it!. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s workers. We are subject to ever more selection, the poorest are prevented from accessing higher education, they are thrown into the labor market and we are going to their applicant to work 45 hours with wages that do not follow. We refuse to be the sacrificed generation”, argues the student. Armed with megaphones, three students bustle to animate the procession, their voices sometimes drowned out by the sound system of the Force Ouvrière truck not far in front of them. A noisy mixture, representative of this interprofessional mobilization.
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