France: Defeat the El Khomri Law!
For an Indefinite General Strike against the Hollande Government! Form Action Committees and Self-Defense Units of the Workers and Oppressed!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 02.06.2016, www.thecommunists.net
The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT; in French: Courant Communiste Révolutionnaire Internationale) stands in unconditional solidarity with the workers and youth of France who are struggling against the El Khomri law. This new law, if adopted, would allow 12-hour days and, in “exceptional circumstances,” employees could work up to 60 hours a week. Furthermore, annual leave entitlement, break-time pay, and other workplace rights are also endangered by the proposed law.
The El Khomri labor law is justifiably called by the workers “the bosses’ law”. It is a fundamental attack on workers’ rights. It will not create more jobs, but it will weaken the position of those who have jobs and therefore, by extension, automatically worsen the position of their unemployed brothers and sisters. And this in a country where unemployment already stands at 10%!
The workers and youth have shown their determination to fight against this law during several national days of action, with over a million of participants in more than 170 cities, indefinite strikes, blockades of oil refineries, the occupation of schools, administrations, and assemblies in public squares, militant demonstration, etc. The trade unions, first of all the CGT, stand in the forefront of the struggle together with migrants and youth organizations.
What we are witnessing in recent days is the biggest expression of class struggle in France since the six week-long general strike in the autumn of 1995. Then, workers blockaded transport and strategic enterprises, school students occupied their schools until they were forcefully evicted by the police, and undocumented immigrants demanded the legalization of their work status by successfully occupying the Directorate General of Labor in Paris.
The El Khomri labor law once again reveals the deeply antisocial nature of the reactionary social-democratic Hollande government. This government has done everything to expose itself as the arch-enemy of the workers, youth and migrants of France: from the occupation of Mali and the Central African Republic, the bombardment of Syria, to the anti-Muslim laws, to the profoundly undemocratic “state of emergency”; and now comes “the bosses law.”
It is hardly surprising that Marie Le Pens’ reactionary racist Front National is getting stronger all the time. The unabashed surrender of the left-wing of the social democrats, as well as the left reformist Front de Gauche, to their arch class enemies, manifested in their support for the Hollande’s state of emergency and imperialist wars, gave legitimacy to the authoritarian and racist ideology of the FN and thus inevitably strengthened it.
The mass movement against the El Khomri law, the militant strikes, blockades and occupations show the will of the masses to fight for another Europe – a Europe not of austerity and racism, of barbed wire and NATO bombs. What we need is a Europe of the workers and oppressed, the United Socialist States of Europe. But such a Europe can only be achieved through resistance to the imperialist European Union, without reverting to reactionary nationalism, as many left reformists and Stalinists advocate.
Furthermore this movement in France is also a blow against the counterrevolutionary offensive of the imperialists which has characterized both France and the whole continent since autumn 2015. Since then the ruling class has utilized the reactionary Paris attack to create a “state of emergency regime”, to whip up a wave of Islamophobic racism against migrants and refugees, to suppress democratic rights and to intensify their colonial wars in the Middle East and North Africa.
The current mass struggle in France has the potential to change the situation in Europe fundamentally – under the condition that the workers and oppressed in other European countries don’t leave our brothers and sisters in France alone. We have to understand the importance of this struggle, especially because the right-wing racists can only be stopped if we show the popular masses a credible alternative of the working class. We call upon the trade unions in the other European countries to take advantage of the workers offensive in France and organize solidarity actions that should be combined with the fight against austerity and for workers and migrant rights. This is the way forward!
What is needed is a new strategy that unites all oppressed people in France under the leadership of the revolutionary workers party to fight not just against the consequences of capitalism – but the system itself. Revolutionaries in France have to try to unify the different struggles of the workers, the school and university students, the Muslims and migrants in general. In fact we have already seen some important joint actions done instinctively by the workers and oppressed themselves!
It is also important that the workers, youth and migrants use this movement to hold mass meetings in the factories, schools, districts, enterprises, harbors and refineries. This meeting should create action committees and elect representatives which can organize the movement democratically nationwide. Such mass meetings should also create committees for self-defense that take on the police – the racist watchdogs of the rich – and defend the movement against these brutal attacks.
* Down with the El Khomri law!
* For an indefinite General Strike till the government backs down!
* Build action committees of the strikers, in the schools, factories and enterprises! For a national assembly of the delegates of these committees that should decide how to go forward!
* Build self-defend units of the workers, youth and migrants to defend the movement against the police violence!
* For a rank and file movement in the trade unions against the bureaucracy!
* Down with the state of emergency regime! Down with the Bonapartist constitution of the Fifth Republic!
* For a public plan to end unemployment and to develop the country in the interest of the workers and poor. Such a program should be under control of the trade unions and it should be financed by the rich!
* For a workers government based on mass assemblies of the workers, migrants and youth. Only such a government will serve our class and not the rich!
* Build a really revolutionary workers party to combat racism and capitalism!
* For a new, revolutionary Fifth International!
International Secretariat of the RCIT
For our analysis of the class struggle in Europe we refer readers, among others, to the following documents of the RCIT:
* Increasing Instability and Militarization in the European Union. On the Tasks of Revolutionaries in the New Political Phase which has Opened in Europe after the Terrorist Attack in Paris, 08.12.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/militarism-in-eu/
* Britain: For a General Strike to Bring Down the Cameron Government! For a Workers’ Government! For a Constituent Assembly! Fight against the corrupt Parliament which is inextricably linked with Big Business! Build Peoples’ Assemblies and Action Committees to organise the struggle throughout the country! 14.4.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/bring-down-cameron/
* Crisis and Class Struggle in Ireland after the General Election, 22.3.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/elections-ireland/
* Terror in Brussels: The War comes Home. Daesh-Terror is the Result of Imperialist Terror! Oppose any State of Emergency and Repression against Muslim Peoples in Europe! 23.03.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/brussels-attack/
* Terror in Paris is the Result of Imperialist Terror in the Middle East! Stop France’s and other Imperialist Powers’ Warmongering! No Mobilization of the Army inside France! Defend the Muslim Peoples against Chauvinist Hatemongering and State Repression! 14.11.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/terror-in-paris/
* Greek Elections Result in Victory for the Reformist SYRIZA. The Central Task Now is to Prepare for the Coming Class Battles and to Forge a New Workers’ Party with a Revolutionary Program! 22.9.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/syriza-victory/
* Throw Open the Gates of Europe to Refugees! Long live International Solidarity of the Workers and Poor! Down with the Imperialist Fortress EU! Advance the Arab Revolution to Build Workers and Peasant Republics! 15.9.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/refugees-are-welcome/
* Perspectives for the Class Struggle in Light of the Deepening Crisis in the Imperialist World Economy and Politics. Theses on Recent Major Developments in the World Situation and Perspectives Ahead (January 2015), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situation-january-2015/