Home | About | Donate

France Rises Up Against Anti-Labor Reforms


France Rises Up Against Anti-Labor Reforms

Nika Knight, staff writer

France erupted with nationwide demonstrations and strikes on Tuesday, as union members and a burgeoning pro-democracy movement began a series of planned actions to protest President François Hollande's controversial set of employer-friendly labor reforms.


One of these days we here in America will step up and do the same thing. Luckily people are starting to get the idea that we can change things by virtue of our numbers. Nonviolent protests are effective means of changing both public opinion and changing the minds of politicians with their wallets open to lobbyists but their hearts closed to the people. There is much to protest in America as we all see and it is time we get to it.

We stopped a war with protests that wouldn’t stop.

Maybe we could save a planet the same way.

And make the superdelegates support democracy instead of making a rigged game.

And …



Why do you insist on referring to the presidential action to destroy unions and workers’ rights as REFORM? The usual definition of the verb “to reform” is “to make changes to improve the thing changed.” These changes are hardly improvements. They actually “deform” the existing policies and laws. To verb to deform is usually defined as “distorting the shape or form of something; to become distorted or misshapen.”


I was watching the live stream on RT. It looks like the French still have some courage left.

Can anyone tell me, has the M$M covered this at all? I can’t really even listen to NPR anymore, not even driving in my pickup truck. I start to get nauseous. There must be a CD’er out there with a stronger stomach.

Is it mentioned at all?



I meant to include a link to another and very relevant piece in today’s Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/05/16/bitter-consequences-corporate-americas-war-unions. Highly recommended reading - could be entitled
“What French Workers are Trying to Avoid!”


“Duncan Cameron explained the context:. . .Rather than forcing trade unions to win concessions from companies, the French state has legislated employment protection for labor. Resenting
this, employer associations work continuously to reverse constraints on business. . . The governments wants to make reforms that would see hours worked go up, make job termination simpler, and facilitate creation of insecure jobs for young workers. . .”

Except for the word, ‘insecure’ the rest of this could have been written by the Heritage Foundation or the like. Words and phrases are used that have positive connotations to describe what is actually bad. For example, ‘constraints on business’ as if labor protection was something odious and businesses should not be subject to them. Or what about using the word ‘reform’ that once had a meaning filled with positive connotations and now every odious proposal is coated with the brush of reform and has pretty much sucked the life and good intentions out of it. Every time I come across this word now, I know someone is trying to screw the public. Then there’s ‘facilitate creation’ both of which are positive words and have no place in a supposedly critical analysis of corporate overreach.
Is this Cameron, unlike that other Cameron, not a native English speaker? That easily explains how these inapt connotations have ended up here. But if he is a native speaker, then I have to wonder. Is he simply unaware of the connotations of the words he is choosing or is it intentional, a way to distort the import of the critique? I don’t know but it makes me very uneasy and I had to read it through twice to get past the dissonance and understand that he is supposedly supporting the workers.


Bravo to the French people. The weird part is that the French unionization rate (https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=UN_DEN) is only about 8% while in the Scandinavian countries, it’s well over 50%. I guess the French don’t need unions as much since the French populace will take to the streets immediately if worker rights are threatened. In the US, there is a vicious, never-ending war against unions. The unionization rate is about 11.2% and falling all the time, especially in the right to work for less states. In the 1950s, the US unionization rate was in the 30% to 35% range. The corporate oligarchs want to turn workers into serfs or indentured servants.


One of the only bright spots of “modern civilization” has been the french peoples declaration of Egalitarian (non-hierachy), Freedom and Cooperation as the highest Virtues of society.
Also the people of USA should recognize France’s essential support for the formation of the country and their hopes we would fullfill those virtues of society.


Have you noticed lately that it doesn’t matter who is in power, the corporations gain the upper hand while the citizens and employees see their benefits cut. France is run by the socialist party. Britain is run by the Conservative Party. Greece is run by a Pro-Democracy Party. Same result.


Yeah, maybe even get Israel out of Palestine? How about that?


It really rubs me raw that the majority of voters (including independents) would choose Bernie to be president but the very people that America wants to see a change from their running things are rigging the game so that change never happens. Considering all the blood shed for democracy these hypocrites ( including the media ) are damned by their cynicism and likely to throw away the very democracy we share.

Yeah we could end up with the first real steps towards fascism being taken and typically it would be by hook and crook not by choice. People around the world see that they must fight for their rights … Maybe we will also feel the same way in time for it to help Bernie.

People need to demonstrate and protest - to stand up for what they believe in - and against what they don’t.


Telling the choir is not doing all that much btw. How about organizing some protests or doing something besides telling people who likely agree with you that something should be done. If it should be done then do it because just talking about it doesn’t do all that much.


So you do agree that Israel should vacate the post 1967 occupied Palestinian territories, right?


Why don’t we have this in the US again- we seem to be cowards here.




Yeah- instead of just discussing it with people who agree with you already! Been there done that.


Stop doing business with corporations ( especially big box). Put away your smartphone, and buy locally orgrow your own food. They HATE when people are more independent. Also, we all have a relatively same view here it’s what action you will take not just agree with people and be a passive observer.


If you just talk about it, then that will continue to happen. Take action network , and organize. We in the US seem to have lost our will to fight back. Bravo to the French indeed. However, the occupy movement did help Bernie, and still is. Remember, movements were not built in a day, but they have to be visible.


Good written piece!