France VS El-Khomri’s Reforms
On March 31st, demonstrations were held in the biggest cities in France against El Khomri’s reforms. The main objectives of the new law are to increase the working week to 60 hours, to cut the overtime pay, and to allow the introduction of dismissal conditions into contracts.
The law, offered by the Social Democratic government (Hollande, Valls, El Khomri), according to polls, is supported by only 20% of the population.
The biggest demonstration took place in Paris at 2:00 pm from Place d'Italie.
The representatives of the largest union organizations also participated, as well as left-wing party members and transport industry employees. Workers in the railway (SNCF) industry went on strike, and as a result, on March 31st, the railway traffic between the cities was partially interrupted. In Paris two lines of subway (RER A, B) were non-functional.
The 9th March Demonstration: more than 500,000 people against El Khomri’s Reforms
On March 9th, in France, more than 500,000 people took part in protests against the Hollande government’s labor reforms.
In Paris the protests united more than 100,000 people who opposed the “liberal” changes by Francois Hollande and the ruling party’s social policy.
The protesters are the representatives of the left parties (the French Left with Jean-Luc Mélenchon as head), railway industry workers (including the SNCF representatives, which caused train delays and interrupted transit between the French towns and cities, the Ile-de –France region canceled almost two-thirds of suburban trains), representatives of trade unions, and various youth movements.
Triumph of Liberal Ideology in French Elites
After May 1968, France was introduced to a new society with a liberal-libertarianism ideology that has as the main objectives the destruction of: 1) the left social model (which is protected by the French Communist Party), and 2) the moral right model (created by De Gaulle).
Gradually, the contours of the left and right became blurred in politics and economics. The right started to function for only bourgeois liberalism and capitalism, ignoring conservatism, and the left – for globalization and progress, ignoring the economic sphere (requirements of workers’ rights protection, supremacy of collective over private ownership).
Hollande is the representative of the liberal version of the “Left”. In this regard, the focus of his policy is not fighting for working class rights and social justice, but for globalization, progress, and the destruction of traditional values (the left in politics). Under François Hollande, unemployment increased unprecedentedly in France: more than 10% (far more than under his right predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, the Republican). However, in late January, Hollande had to introduce a state of emergency due to the economic situation in the country due to high unemployment.
The Left against Left-liberal Policies
Hollande and the ruling Socialist Party are rapidly losing popularity, even among left forces. The inability to cope with the critical rate of unemployment, to defend the rights of the working class, to ensure the country's security (terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th) are all factors that cast doubt upon the legitimacy of the Socialist Party.
The French Communists consider El Khomri’s draft law as an “outright defeat.”
“We cannot accept any provisions of this law. All the proposed measures are just a violation of the workers rights," said head of the French Communist Party Pierre Laurent.
"For Hollande and Valls, this is the beginning of the end," said Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the head of the "Left Party" in France.
“There is blind anger within France, from businesses, districts, and villages, which is transforming into collective action. The social question has returned, but now it has appeared in the face of new problems and under new conditions,” said Patrick Le Hyaric, the director of L'Humanite on El Khomri’s draft law.