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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Les sans-papiers de Plus Net victorieux

by Marie Barbier

The undocumented workers of {Plus Net} are Victorious

Translated Saturday 24 October 2009, by Henry Crapo and reviewed by Henry Crapo

The 25 striking workers of the building cleaning company in Montreuil obtained regular immigration status after a year-long fight.

Friday evening, when they were convoked by the Prefecture, the undocumented workers striking at Plus Net [1] registered on their odometer already a long and difficult year of struggle, 361 days and as many nights occupying their cleaning company headquarters in Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis), putting pressure on their employer to pay the tax necessary for their obtaining a legal status. This, despite the fact that these 25 workers satisfy precisely the criteria defined in the ministerial circular promulgated in January 2008, permitting regularization based on employment for work. It took a year-long fight to obtain, at last, an application of this right.

So last Friday the Prefecture delivered them a provisional visiting permit for three months, with authorization to work, the first step in the delivery of a residency permit. "Now we will be able at last to work in dignity and serenity," Arouna Traoré said happily. He is the strikers’ delegate, whose portrait was published in l’Humanité for 20 August 2009.

When we went to meet with them last summer, the strikers told us about their conditions of work; contracts for 86 hours per month, 195 hours of work performed, work days that could exceed 24 hours without stop, and all this for a pittance. From Saint-Maurice, Mali, and Senegal, these workers have been in France for years.

This summer, Arouna Traoré also told us "When it’s all over, we’ll throw a big party and invite all our supporters to come eat and drink!" Because, without a salary for a year, the strikers have held on thanks to the solidarity of neighbors, associations, unions, and political parties, who have provided an indispensable economic and moral aid.

Promised, and delivered: this evening, the newly documented workers of Plus Net celebrate their victory [2]. On the program: testimony by the strikers, spectacle, notably Tarace Boulba. In the presence also of Patrick Le Hyaric, director of l’Humanité. "We will eat and drink, too," warns Arouna. All the franciliens [3] are invited to come celebrate with us, because we are full of joy."

[1"+ Clean", or "More Clean"

[2Starting at 19h, in the salle des fêtes of the Mairie de Montreuil, metro line 9.

[3inhabitants of the Ile-de-France

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