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Politics

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Original french version, "Une détermination sans faille"

by By Paule Masson

With Faultless Determination, Students’ and Workers’ Unions Mobilize Against the "First Job Contracts"

Translated by Henry Crapo

Translated Monday 3 April 2006, by Henry Crapo

Rising again, and raising the tone. Yielding no ground until the First Job Contracts (CPE, Contrat premier embauche) are withdrawn. Not getting worn out. Finding ways to graduate the increase in the force of the movement, while the government seems to entrench itself behind a limitless inflexibility, while the balance of forces shows millions of people already opposed to the CPE, both in factories and in universities, and, as is beginning to be the case, in businesses, the idea is building to extend the strike. This equation, for the 12 unions meeting yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon in the offices of the FSU (student union), was not one easily solved. But they confirmed, after Tuesday’s "historic mobilization", which all wished to emphasize, that they all wanted to get on with it. After a four-hour meeting they announced the organization of another day of inter-professional strike, with demonstrations, for Tuesday, the 4th of April, observing that they have forces for mobilization "in reserve", be it in businesses, in high schools, or in universities. "The qualitative advance achieved Tuesday shows that hope has changed sides. The sentiment of legitimacy, of democracy, of social progress is now on the side of the anti-CPE", Maryse Dumas of the CGT said with assurance.

In a declaration the unions affirm they are "determined to amplify the mobilization" and this " today and throughout the week". The call for "a multiplication of initiatives to explain their demand for withdrawal of the CPE", for "interventions with legislators". The inter-union decided solemnly to call upon the President of the Republic to "take measure of the situation" and to "use his constitutional prerogatives to assure that the CPE will be withdrawn."

Everyone is ready for a long haul. Everyone recognizes that each new step must be stronger than its predecessor. Everyone also affirms a quasi-certitude of "being able to win". Unless the CPE is withdrawn, there will be other rendezvous for action.

On its side, the government seemed firmly decided, yesterday, to throw oil on the flames. Gilles de Robien, minister of National Education, acting as pilot fish for a strategy of creating tension, ordered the school superintendents to evacuate those schools that had been blockaded.

The unions are deeply worried by a situation that "each day further mortgages the possibility of dialogue". Bruno Julliard, President of the UNEF, repeated yesterday that "it is insupportable that the government is not listening to what is being said." Gérard Aschieri for the FSU and Karl Stockel made a lively denunciation of this "attaint to the right to strike" and warned of the "risks" they are running. The unions, which continue to fear "that the nation is sliding into a profound crisis", holds the government entirely responsible for the present situation.


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