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(en) France, UCL AL #328 - unionism: Colloquium: The unprecedented challenges facing trade unionism (ca, de, it, fr, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Sun, 3 Jul 2022 07:58:54 +0300

In June 2021, the FSU Research Institute organized a symposium on the current challenges of trade unionism, bringing together different trade union organizations and academics. The Syllepse editions have just drawn an instructive collection. ---- The trade union leaders who were present for the FSU, the CGT, Solidaires and the Confédération paysanne saw their debates revolve around four themes of reflection: evolution of work; ecological issues; feminism and anti-racism; unions and politics. So many subjects that pose new challenges to "trade unionism for social transformation" at a time when the CFDT is gaining ground.
Several speakers have, from the introduction, stated that it was necessary to rebuild while avoiding two pitfalls: "vain reformism" and "vain radicalism". Others underlined the permanent tension, for class and mass unionism, between the need to unite widely and the need for an alternative line to capitalism. Some even worried about a resurgence of "revolutionary unionism" in this period of confusion.

All the more reason to regret the absence of a real revolutionary unionist discourse to shed another light, while all the speakers willingly proclaim their attachment to the Charter of Amiens and its double task: immediate demands and revolution. (sorry, "transformation"... ) social. Especially since we sometimes find at the CGT, at the FSU or at Solidaires flashes of incantatory radicalism - which have nothing to do with revolutionary syndicalism - both in official declarations and in the postures of "opponents"...

SMEs, not necessarily union deserts
Other speakers once again scrutinized the difficulties of trade unionism in establishing itself in the desert of "new professions", while pointing out the problems of institutionalization in the public service and large companies. This makes it even more striking that no one is interested in the realities of unionism in small and medium-sized enterprises, which nevertheless employ a lot of manpower without necessarily being union deserters. Objects more difficult to grasp for academics, they are also far from providing the high bureaucracy with permanent confederal and federal officials.

It is more often at the level of local or departmental unions that the creation and follow-up of these unions takes place. The contribution of intermediate leaders would have made it possible to deepen the issues and problems of "really existing" trade unionism.

Jean-Yves (UCL Limousin)

Jean-Michel Drevon, Syndicalism facing the challenge of the 21stcentury, Syllepse, 170 pages, 12 euros, January 2022.

https://www.unioncommunistelibertaire.org/?Colloque-Les-defis-inedits-qui-se-posent-au-syndicalisme _________________________________________
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