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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: L’UNSA appelle à un 1er mai intersyndical contre le FN

by L’Humanité.fr with Agence France Presse

UNSA Calls for All-Trade-Union May Day against the Front National

Translated Sunday 19 April 2015, by Gene Zbikowski

The general secretary of the National Union of Autonomous Trade Unions (UNSA), Luc Bérille, called for an “all-trade-union May Day” against the Front national and for “the defense of republican principles” at the opening of the sixth congress of his trade union confederation in Montpellier on March 31.

“UNSA is coming out (…) for an all-trade-union May Day bringing together as many as possible for international labor solidarity, jobs, wages, and yes, the defense of republican principles!” Luc Bérille told the participants at the sixth congress of the fourth-largest French trade union organization. The congress is being held in Montpellier.

“Is it our role as a trade union to get mixed up in questions of political parties? No, except that, and we’ve always said this at UNSA, the Front National is not a party like any other,” stated the top UNSA leader, for whom Marine Le Pen’s party broke a barrier during the départemental elections, in comparison with the previous European parliament elections.

“It’s one thing to present lists of candidates in the eight big French districts for the European parliament elections. It’s another to get 25% of the vote due to the presence of its candidates in 93% of the cantons [the election districts for départemental elections],” he said, condemning the Front National’s political program of “an authoritarian government centered on a boss, implementing [a policy of] xenophobic anti-Muslim nationalism.”

“In these conditions,” the “main responsibility of democrats is – forgive the pun – to form the biggest possible common front,” he concluded.

In addition, Luc Bérille sharply criticized Finance Minister Emmanuel Macron who rejected consulting [organized labor] when he prepared his bill. “Be one a minister, and with all due respect, this does not necessarily guarantee that one is all-knowing. Technocratic brilliancy, even when associated with an enormous capacity to work, is not always enough to become a politician. This would also have allowed him to smooth out the contentious subjects which blew up during the debate in the National Assembly. But when you want to sow alone, you reap alone,” the boss of UNSA said.

Luc Bérille denounced several aspects of the Macron law, notable night work on which “[our position] was no and it’s still no.” He also demanded rectification on several points while there is still time, for example as concerns the Plans to Safeguard Jobs (PSE).

The sixth congress of the National Union of Autonomous Trade Unions (UNSA) is meeting for three days at the Corum in Montpellier with 1200 union delegates in attendance.

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