UNI Europa Youth, its Steering Committee and its members meeting in Portugal today, expressed their solidarity with the French workers and their affiliates from FORCE OUVRIERE and CGT who are fighting against labour law reforms and restrictions on fundamental rights of freedom such as the right to strike and demonstrate.
There have been four months of increasingly strong protests against these reforms which the unions say will bring more insecurity, especially for young workers and also which undermine the hierarchy of norms and the prevalence of the branch agreements at enterprise level.
The protests have taken the shape of a mobilisation in Paris on 14 June that brought together more than a million opponents to the law. Despite this protest the government did not even consider opening a dialogue on the substance of the reforms, preferring the wear down the workers; instrumentalising violent events that took place on the sidelines of the demonstrations.
As a result, seven trade unions and students opposed to the labour law agreed to two more days of mobilisations and demonstrations on 23 and 28 June.
However yesterday morning, June 22, the prefecture of Paris banned the event on the grounds of security.
Consequently, FO and CGT unions requested an urgent meeting with the Minister of the Interior.
It was finally agreed to authorise a limited demonstration on a restricted route.
This decision is a victory for democracy.
However this whole episode is an attempt at intimidation and interference with the exercise of the right to demonstrate, which UNI EUROPA YOUTH. finds totally unacceptable.
Elke Zander, Communications Officer, UNI Europa