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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #291 - unionism, Théâtre d'Aubervilliers: At war against harassment and arbitrariness (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Mon, 11 Feb 2019 08:33:55 +0200

Four years of brutal management ; half of the permanent employees who make their aprons ; three months of strike to say the ras the bowl ... Few conflicts will have so much underlined the contradictions in which can impregnate a left-wing employers yet attached to his humanist and virtuous image. ---- " When there is turnover in a box, people burn-out, conventional breaks that are linked, it is not a coincidence. There is a pathogen management. When the hierarchy seeks to release the employees one by one to replace them with others supposedly more loyal, it becomes a strategy. "It is Sophie Lopez, militant CGT, who thus expresses itself on December 16th at the wandering Word, in Montreuil, the day after the act V of the yellow vests. A day of joint solidarity brought together the strikers at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Paris-Vendôme and those at the Théâtre de la Commune in Aubervilliers (93). Concert of support, sale of African specialties, presence of yellow vests and CGT-Spectacle, speaking ... The opportunity to tell three months of an eloquent conflict on employers who " justify the abuse in the name of Art and managerial brutality by Beauty ", to quote the sardonic form of the academic Olivier Neveux, in support of the strikers [1].

The common imaginary combines public theater with unctuous words - culture, sharing, miscegenation, creation - and warm, muffled spaces, bathed in a more teleramesque atmosphere than class struggle. Patatras: the case of the theater of the Commune has brutally dropped the scene and revealed backstage for the least sordid.

A pseudo-participatory trap
It all began in January 2014 with the arrival of Marie-José Malis National Dramatic Center (CDN). At first, this committed artist seduces the employees by announcing a dynamic project of opening the theater and a new functioning, democratic and horizontal. After a few months, however, the disenchantment is complete. The few organized " transversal " meetings have turned out to be a pseudo-participatory trap: the word is free there only when it goes in the direction of a direction that appears in fact calculating and authoritarian. " In hindsight," says a CGT union member, "these" cross-sectional "meetings were mainly used to identify people deemed" incompatible "with the project. "

And incompatible people must be eliminated. As the " CDN-Leaks " will later reveal ( see below ), one can suspect a disguised dismissal plan, which involves fleeing employees one after the other. The strategy of the hierarchy is to attack them on the quality of their work without ever telling them exactly what is wrong. To ask them for activity reports, justifications, to publicly humiliate the " bad elements ", to invade their daily reporting, Google agendas, comminatory mails ... Even a protected employee (RQTH) is a victim. The public relations department is particularly targeted. " I, the strong heads, I mate them " Asserts Malis to an employee of this service who, exhausted by this war of nerves, will eventually make his apron.

Between January 2014 and September 2018, out of 23 permanent employees, 12 (two-thirds of whom are women) are thus breaking off conventionally. In their place are hired people deemed " reliable ". Not always successful elsewhere. Some quickly distance themselves from management. But others are completely in his game and, little by little, a gap is growing between the Legitimists (mostly recent.es hired) and the protesters (mostly in office for a long time) whose number is reduced from month to month .

An " a-union " list guided by the management
The year of the professional elections will be that of the open crisis. Harassment gets worse ; we come to sanctions, insults, threats of dismissal. In March 2018, the delegate CGT burns out and finds herself on sick leave. In the following weeks, three other colleagues are arrested in their turn, for more or less long periods In June, a list " a-union " remote control by management is against the CGT. Each one wins 2 seats on the social and economic committee.

A hoax of support, realized by a photoshopeuse solidarity of the strike. Click to enlarge
In July, 11 of the theater's 18 employees send an alert letter to the Ministry of Culture. The Rue de Valois does not answer them but - elegance - transmits the mail to Malis with the names of the signatories, exposing them to reprisals. Back to the wall, some of the employees finally decided to stop working to get the freeze on restructuring underway, the end of the harassment and a social audit. Started on September 20, the strike will last for ninety-three days, and give rise to an intense battle of communication.

On one side the direction plays offended virtue. How could she be tyrannical, she who has set up a remarkable project, the School of Acts, helping the insertion of dozens of migrants ? [2]It is in fact the CGT which, by corporatism, obstruction ! Some thirty members of the management, executives and associated artists co-sign an anti-strike statement, and even hang on the stage a poetically signed banner " Employees who stayed at work in this innovative place, proud and happy with the beauty of their project ". " Beauty " and " magic "Regularly return in the prose of rare artists and intellectuals who stand in solidarity with the management Malis [3].

The most famous is the world-class maoist Alain Badiou, whose theater hosts conferences. In a memorable pamphlet , he denounces a " plot " hatched by a " junk trade unionism" !

" Bad You ": former guru of the UCF-ml, an esoteric Maoist sect, the philosopher Alain Badiou made theater of the Commune his headquarters. The strikers did not fail to mock his unwavering support for the enlightened leadership of the Party, sorry, theater ...
Opposite, the employees in struggle know that the balance of power is uncertain - 10 on strike the first day, then 7 until the end, including 3 on sick leave - but they and they mobilize all their resources. The most important of which is the unpacking of management practices. The press relays [4], the scandal swells. Supports (NPA, LFI, PCF, Solidaires) arrive.

Nearly 180 personalities from the world of entertainment co-sign a forum claiming that " no end, no idea - no matter how big and generous - can justify domination and social contempt ". The strike committee's Facebook page soon exceeds 1,500 subscribers. And as the audience of the hall falls, the indignant public rushes to the support gatherings. Philippe Martinez, the Secretary General of the CGT, took the microphone to remind that " the cultural exception is not worth social exception ".Bridges are thrown with the employees of the culture of Grenoble, Bethune or La Rochelle, who have endured similar situations. Links are forged with the Park Hyatt's housekeepers, who are on strike almost at the same time.

Solidarity between the strikers of the Théâtre de la Commune and the Park Hyatt Hotel on December 20, 2018.
All this hurts. Management refuses any dialogue first. Then, as her credit collapses, she gives ground. But it will take a total of 10 negotiating sessions, including the last under the aegis of the Drac, so that it resolves to sign a post-conflict agreement, December 21. " CDN-Leaks " will have helped a lot.

Resumption and retaliation
On January 3, their main requirements being met, the employees returned to work ... with some apprehension. The reprisals against the ex-strikers, in fact, did not take long. " Ten days after the recovery, explains Sophie Lopez, two former strikers were summoned for a" reframing ". One, elected staff, was accused of "insubordination". Discouraged by the restart of the harassment, the second announced that she would leave the establishment soon ... " A hard blow.

What will the reaction of antigrévistes ? Some recent recruits, who did not know the history of events before 2018, and preferred to follow the lead rather than hear the unionists, were destabilized by the events. Left employers will not take it to paradise. The networks of solidarity established by the employees in struggle are for the moment put to sleep. They do not disappear.

William Davranche (AL Montreuil)

Attendance at the interpro strike day of 9 October 2018.

The " CDN-leaks " disclosed at the end of 2018 speak volumes about the mental universe of former committed artists promoted to patron of cultural institutions.

It is a devastating verbatim that, undeniably, will have finished undermining the credit of the management of the National Dramatic Center (CDN) of Aubervilliers. We are already in the fourteenth week of the strike when, on December 7, 2018, Jef Klak magazine publishes the " CDN-leaks " as part of an investigation by Jean-Marie Mignon and Michel Demoor, " Tout va bien au théâtre de the Commune " .

This is the transcript of a private interview, in April 2015, between Marie-José Malis and six of his counterparts, where is openly mentioned a strategy of shock to clean the CDN. Stanislas Nordey, Strasbourg: " If we do not speak wood, what we would all like is to be able to make a massive redundancy plan. In truth. The problem is that we do not program for a season ... It can be done. " Marie-Jo Malis abounds: " Say a redundancy plan, I agree.[...]Yes, I'm talking about layoffs.[...]Why do we run the premises if we can not have an idea of what should be the hiring, the contract of employment, the constitution of a team that serves an artistic adventure ? "

But how to do with " the stories of collective agreements ," sadly Nicolas Roux, Montpellier, who are " a real problem ." " That block the theater ", adds Nordey, who would like that this fed up is relayed by " a sounding board as the Syndeac ", the employers' union sector. That's good, Marie-Jo Malis is just president of Syndeac. And Nordey to get carried away: " You in Montpellier, you have four people who make you shit and that you would like to replace. You, Marie-José, you have five that you would like to replace.[...]Well I tell you, you need a strong act and then you do half a season next year and then you fire and then you hire the people you want ! "

A redundancy plan, alas, it is expensive, and it may be a half-season. But we can work around the problem. The employers have perfectly integrated the profitable use they can make of the conventional break. This procedure, created in 2008, is less expensive than dismissal, and employees are more willing to consent because, unlike a resignation pure and simple, it gives them the right to unemployment benefits. Someone who experiences moral harassment often sees the conventional break as a deliverance. It is probably such a strategy that is deployed at the Théâtre de la Commune in Aubervilliers. GD

The entirety of " CDN-Leaks " (31 pages) is available on Jefklak.org . Marie-José Malis confirmed the authenticity of the document in La Lettre du spectacle, January 4, 2019.

[1] Letter from Olivier Neveux to employees in struggle, September 23, 2018, reproduced on www.cip-idf.org .

[2] Le Monde , October 4, 2018.

[3] We must read about the egotistical and ridiculous letter of grandiloquence of critic Bruno Tackels " from the Andean Cordillera ", September 20, 2018.

[4] Le Parisien , September 19, September 20, October 2 ; Le Monde, October 4, 2018 ; Liberation , October 5 ; Humanity , October 7 ; NVO , October 10th ; Anticapitalist , October 18 ; Mediapart , November 9 ; CQFD , November 10

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