Pension reform: Laurent Berger’s CFDT forced to play hard


They may be orange, but the vests seem to be carrying a bit of the yellow rage that invaded the roundabouts of France four years ago. The color of his union, the CFDT, flooded the streets on Thursday. ” A month ago, I left at 60 with nine quarters of contributions before I turned eighteen. 62 years ago today, it is not possible, we must stop the damage », assaults this militant of the chemical-energy federation, the most important of the CFDT, crossed with ten others at the Parisian demonstration.

Twelve years ago, since the transition from 60 to 62 that the Fillon government decided, we had witnessed this participation – now – of the first trade union in France in a social movement. The reformist central, along with its other seven counterparts, will leave again on January 31. An unexpected opposition, including within the government that expected, if not with the support of the CFDT, at least a discreet rebellion. lost In a few weeks, Laurent Berger, the general secretary, became a protester despite himself and his union, traditionally a supporter of social dialogue, a radical opponent.

When the interunion met on January 10, when Elisabeth Borne unveiled plans for pension reform, it was the cedista who spoke to reporters to announce the first mobilization. ” Philippe Martinez, the leader of the CGT, pushed Berger to play the role of hardliner », analyzes Bernard Vivier, director of the Higher Institute of Work (IST). Like an inverted mirror of the balance of power, Berger, former head of the Regional Union of the Pays de Loire, finds himself trapped today.

Read also – Laurent Berger, Secretary General of the CFDT, on pension reform: “65 years old is old age”

“He must respect the vote of the militants”, according to one of them

First by its own mandate, which defines the contours of its action. During the June congress, which led to his re-election, an amendment presented by the Interco de la Somme was approved by 67.5%, against the opinion of the management. He has supported the CFDT’s refusal of any increase in the average settlement age, even if it increases life expectancy, which was its doctrine in the past. ” This disappointment forces Berger to be more rigid than he wanted thinks Bernard Vivier.

He has no choice but to respect the vote of the activists », assures one of them. It is therefore impossible to accept a reduction of the retirement age to 64, together with an extension of the contribution period to 43 in 2027. The CFDT played a pivotal role during the debates on the creation of a universal systemrecalls Antoine Foucher, president of Quintet Conseil, specialized in social strategy. The two camps that had been competing for ten years, the reformers and the protesters, meet today. »

Laurent Berger then recalls the insults received by Nicole Notat, his predecessor, accused of colluding with power during the Juppé reform of 1995. And those he suffered in 2003 during the Fillon reform by his mentor, François Chérèque, whom he to happen. The search for a compromise advocated by the central had meant the loss of close to 20% of the affiliates, parties to the CGT or the South, and it has not yet been found.

The icing on the cake, the enmity between Laurent Berger and Emmanuel Macron. Although the head of state denies any misunderstanding to his visitors, the slightest of his confidences is perceived as an affront by the number one of the CFDT. Example with remarks that the president would have made in a small committee, just before the day of action on Thursday, at the ” victory of irresponsibility and that greatly irritated Laurent Berger. ” It does not admit that social agents are not actors of the reformpoints out the director of the IST, and Macron that the unions dictate their law in the political world. “Between the risk of defeat if the government left nothing, or very little, and the threat of an internal revolt if the CFDT abandoned the struggle in the streets, this sequence has quite a trap for Laurent Berger.

Source : Le JDD

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