March 23, 2023

Pensions: a mobilization in sharp decline, but still very supported by public opinion

Four days after the fall observed last Saturday, the mobilization against the pension reform experienced a slight rebound but no strong jump this Wednesday at the call of the inter-union.

A total of 480,000 people marched throughout France, including 37,000 in Paris, according to the police, against 380,000 last weekend. Compared to March 7, the last day of mobilization during the week, the fall is significant. There were 1.28 million protesters across the country that day, according to the Interior Ministry.

The CGT has identified 1.7 million people on the street, against 3.5 million on March 7, or half as many. The decline in mobilization is confirmed.

Hardening in some sectors

The strike rate has dropped sharply among public officials, according to the Ministry of Public Service. It has fallen below 3% in the state as well as in local communities. It was halved in the public hospital service, to 4.5%.

On the side of the RATP, the movement has also fallen: the service will only remain disrupted this Thursday on the RER A and B. Strikes or blockages have, on the other hand, continued to affect the activities of energy, caused the cancellation of 20% of flights at Orly and upset garbage collection, particularly in Paris.

Three out of four working people opposed to the reform

This hardening of the conflict in certain sectors has not, however, turned public opinion upside down, as is traditionally the case. Along with the vigor of trade union unity, which for the moment is undeniable, the strength and durability of its support are the other major characteristic of this social conflict, confirmed by a poll carried out by Elabe for BFMTV published on Wednesday. .

According to this survey carried out online on March 13 and 14 with a representative sample of 1,002 people aged 18 and over, 68% of French people and three out of four working people continue to declare themselves opposed to the reform. In addition, 26% of French people and 28% of working people consider that the mobilization should “continue in the same way as at present” and 42% of French people and 49% of working people that it should even “get tougher”. A mobilization for which two-thirds of French people and nearly three-quarters of active people claim to have sympathy.

A challenge for unions

Fatalists – only a quarter of those questioned believe that the reform will be withdrawn – 62% of French people and 68% of working people believe that even if the reform is voted by a majority by the Assembly, it would be necessary to “continue the mobilization”, a challenge for unions. It remains to define the form.

Do not vote for this law, it is disconnected from the concrete reality of work

Laurent Berger CFDT

And there again, the path they have begun to draw has the approval of the greatest number since 75% of French people and even 81% of working people say they are in favor or very in favor of the organization of a referendum on the reform if it is adopted, including by a vote and not 49.3 against which the hostility is massive.

“Do not vote for this law, it is disconnected from the concrete reality of work”, urged the secretary general of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, in the direction of the parliamentarians who must decide this Thursday. While the number one of Force Ouvrière, Frédéric Souillot, felt that the executive was taking “the risk of an explosion” by “sweeping out of hand” the social movement against its reform.

“Whatever happens, for us, we must continue the fight,” said Philippe Martinez, the leader of the CGT.

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