French Workers In Revolt

Egypt bans yellow vest sales as French protesters reject Macron’s concessions

By Alex Lantier, 11 December 2018

Governments worldwide are panicking in the face of the growing militancy and political radicalization of the international working class.

UK workers, young people defend Yellow Vest protests in France: “I only wish that we could do it here as well!”

By our reporters, 11 December 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to workers and youth in Britain who support the Yellow Vest protests in France.

Which way forward for France’s “yellow vest” protests?

By Alex Lantier, 10 December 2018

The critical question is the independent organization of the working class, in France and internationally, in the preparation of a European general strike.

France’s “yellow vest” protesters brave repression and mass arrests

By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 9 December 2018

The French president’s attempts to staunch the protests through a combination of phony concessions and state violence have clearly failed.

French government threatens bloody crackdown on “yellow vest” protest

By Alex Lantier and Francis Dubois, 8 December 2018

Amid rising popular support for demonstrations against austerity and inequality, French officials are warning they will stop at nothing to halt the protests.

The demonstrations in France and the global class struggle

By Alex Lantier, 7 December 2018

As they face Macron’s brutal crackdown, workers and students in France fighting austerity and inequality must turn to the international working class.

“We stand with you because all of us are in the same fight”

US autoworkers express class solidarity with French workers

By Jerry White, 6 December 2018

The determination of the “yellow vest” protesters in the face of state repression by the French government has inspired workers in the United States and around the world.

France's “yellow vest” protests expose Jean-Luc Mélenchon's pro-capitalist populism

By Alex Lantier, 6 December 2018

Jean-Luc Mélenchon's attack on socialism and his proclamation of the political irrelevance of the working class reflect his hostility to growing social anger among workers.

Mobilize the working class against Macron!

By Alex Lantier, 5 December 2018

The critical task facing protests against austerity and inequality in France is to expand the struggle more broadly into the French and international working class.

French protests spark media demands for Facebook censorship

By Andre Damon, 5 December 2018

Sections of the press in France and the United States have seized upon the “yellow vest” demonstrations to directly demand the suppression of popular opposition on social media.

High school students and ambulance drivers join ‘Yellow Vest’ protests in France

By Alex Lantier, 4 December 2018

With a fourth consecutive Saturday of mass demonstrations against French President Emmanuel Macron’s regressive taxes planned this weekend, tens of thousands of high school students throughout France have staged demonstrations at their schools.

Strikes and demonstrations shake France

By Alex Lantier, 1 December 2018

The struggles pose the necessity of organizing workers and youth independently of the unions and the parties defending Macron.

Rejecting Macron’s speech, fuel tax protesters call new demonstrations in France

By Alex Lantier, 28 November 2018

French President Macron’s decision to give a speech addressing the protesters only made clear that he firmly intends to pursue his right-wing policies and has nothing to offer.

Slanders depicting “Yellow Vest” protesters as violent neo-fascists collapse

By our reporter, 28 November 2018

None of those arrested at the demonstrations in Paris were wanted on charges associated with either far-right or anarchist groups.

No to Macron’s maneuvers to strangle the Yellow Vest protests in France

By Alex Lantier, 27 November 2018

The talks Macron is slated to offer today to the Yellow Vest protesters are a trap for a movement that requires a turn to the working class and a revolutionary strategy.

French “Yellow Vest” protesters prepare road blockades against fuel tax hike

By Anthony Torres, 16 November 2018

Fear is growing in official circles that tomorrow’s nationwide road blockades could develop into an explosion of mass social anger against French President Macron.

Thousands protest Trump’s visit to Paris for centenary of World War I armistice

By our reporters, 13 November 2018

During the US president’s visit on November 11, thousands of people came out on Republic Square to protest war and austerity.

Workers and retirees rally against French government’s austerity policies

By Anthony Torres, 10 October 2018

As Macron slashes wage levels and basic social rights in France, growing numbers of workers distrust the unions and are calling for a general strike.

Despite rising social anger, Macron pledges to step up austerity attacks in France

By Alex Lantier, 16 June 2018

The multimillionaire banker-president denounced the “crazy amounts of money” he claims France spends on the poor.

Unions call four-day strike at Air France

By Kumaran Ira, 14 June 2018

The strike call comes amid rising anger in the workforce after workers voted to reject a concessions contract negotiation by the unions and Air France management.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 8—The centrist line of the OCI (4)

By Peter Schwarz, 6 June 2018

Fifty years ago, in May–June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

SEP holds Paris meeting on 50 years since May 1968 general strike

By our reporters, 5 June 2018

The Socialist Equality Party of France held a meeting on the political lessons of the May 1968 general strike on Sunday in Paris.

French rail workers strike at a crossroads

By Kumaran Ira and Alex Lantier, 1 June 2018

As the unions begin calling to put an end to the strike, the strike must be taken out of the hands of the unions and waged on an independent, revolutionary perspective.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 4—How Alain Krivine’s JCR covered for the betrayals of Stalinism (2)

By Peter Schwarz, 1 June 2018

Fifty years ago, in May–June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

French rail workers protest privatization plans

By V. Gnana and Senthooran Ravee, 31 May 2018

Rail workers were sympathetic to the Socialist Equality Party’s call for the formation of committees of action to unify the struggles against President Macron.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 3—How Alain Krivine’s JCR covered for the betrayals of Stalinism

By Peter Schwarz, 31 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May–June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 2—The betrayal of the PCF and CGT

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May–June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 1—A revolutionary situation develops

By Peter Schwarz, 29 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May-June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

The way forward for French workers

Build rank-and-file committees to oppose Macron’s austerity measures!

By Alex Lantier, 24 May 2018

In voting to reject privatization, French rail workers are at the forefront of a struggle of the entire working class against the Macron government. This struggle requires a revolutionary perspective.

France: PSA uses labor law to sack workers, boost working times in Vesoul plant

By Anthony Torres, 22 May 2018

Using the Socialist Party’s labor law and Macron’s labor decrees, automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroën plans to sack hundreds of workers and boost working times.

French unions negotiate with government to impose railway privatization

By Anthony Torres, 19 May 2018

France’s major trade unions are moving toward a capitulation to President Emmanuel Macron’s government in the face of this politically explosive and deeply unpopular attack.

French students blockade universities in struggle against selective admissions

By Guillaume Garnier, 15 May 2018

After the March 22 protest of rail and public workers against the privatisation of railways, students launched a movement to blockade universities across France.

The referendum at SNCF: The unions seek to strangle French rail strike

By Alex Lantier, 12 May 2018

The referendum on Macron’s reforms being prepared by the unions for May 14-21 represents a dead-end for railway workers.

Defying the trade unions, Air France workers vote to reject contract

By Alex Lantier, 8 May 2018

Workers defied not only threats from Air France and the government, but also from the union bureaucrats, who demanded that they approve the contract.

Trade unions in talks with French prime minister to strangle rail strike

By Anthony Torres, 1 May 2018

The unions are openly preparing to betray the strike, as the prime minister has said he will negotiate only if the unions accept virtually all of the government’s demands.

French students, workers march in April 19 protests against Macron

By Anthony Torres, 21 April 2018

The first protest of strikers from multiple professions since November 2017 took place amid spreading blockades of universities by students opposed to Macron.

Fifty years after May-June 1968, the class struggle erupts in France

By Alex Lantier, 7 April 2018

With growing opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s labour decrees, the class struggle in Europe is entering a new and explosive stage.

Strikes by railway workers and aircrews paralyze France

By our correspondents, 4 April 2018

The striking transit workers were joined by students walking out in opposition to the Macron government’s assault on public education.

Major strikes in France challenge Macron’s right-wing reforms

By Peter Schwarz and Eric London, 3 April 2018

The railway workers’ strike, which began Monday evening, is the biggest test of strength to date between President Emmanuel Macron and the French working class.

Air France workers strike to demand pay increase

By Anthony Torres, 23 February 2018

Rejecting a miserable sweetheart contract negotiated by a group of trade unions closely allied to management, Air France workers took strike action yesterday.

French president Macron prepares to privatize railways

By Anthony Torres, 13 February 2018

After announcing the end of lifetime employment guarantees for public sector employees, French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to do the same with rail workers.

French president Macron to end lifetime job guarantee for public sector workers

By Francis Dubois, 5 February 2018

The Macron government is seeking to scrap the rights of public sector workers amid rising strikes and social protests across Europe.

French automaker PSA colludes with unions to prepare mass job cuts

By Alex Lantier, 10 January 2018

PSA Peugeot-Citroën is slashing jobs across Europe and in France, where it is using provisions of President Emmanuel Macron’s antidemocratic labor decrees.

French truckers take strike action against Macron’s labor decrees

By Anthony Torres, 27 September 2017

The trade union bureaucracy is isolating the truckers’ strike in order to block the growth of a broad movement in the working class against President Macron and the EU.

In Paris, Mélenchon calls on trade unions to control opposition to austerity

By Anthony Torres and Kumaran Ira, 25 September 2017

On Saturday, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France movement held its national rally in the Place de la République in Paris.

Workers and youth mobilize in second protest against French labor reform

By Anthony Torres, 22 September 2017

Protesters who spoke to the WSWS opposed the destruction of the Labor Code and the growing drive to war and dictatorship in France and internationally.

French unions try to strangle workers’ opposition to Macron

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 19 September 2017

The unions, whose strike calls are carefully prepared beforehand with the government, are terrified of being outflanked on their left by an eruption of workers’ struggles.

Truckers announce strike against attack on Labour Code in France

By Kumaran Ira, 16 September 2017

The French government has already stressed that it has no intention of modifying its position, despite growing opposition in the working class.

Hundreds of thousands march against Macron’s austerity measures in France

By Alex Lantier and Anthony Torres, 13 September 2017

The demonstrations point to the mounting opposition among French workers and youth to the government’s plans to carry out a social counterrevolution by executive fiat.

Macron announces cuts to French social programs

By Francis Dubois, 7 September 2017

In the wake of the decrees against the labor code, the government is launching attacks on unemployment insurance, housing and vocational training.

Mélenchon sets nationalist trap for opposition to austerity in France

By Anthony Torres, 7 September 2017

Mélenchon is proposing a populist and nationalist movement, compatible with a strategy of entry into the Macron government that he claims to oppose.

Gasoline and chemical truck drivers strike in France

By Francis Dubois, 30 May 2017

The unions are insisting that this strike should be limited to action in one industry and are seeking to avoid any serious interruption of industry and transport.

French auto parts workers at GM&S threaten to blow up plant to block closure

By Anthony Torres, 16 May 2017

The only way forward is a broad mobilization of workers to defend jobs at GM&S in a break with the union bureaucracies and in opposition to newly elected President Emmanuel Macron.

French air traffic controllers strike against work restructuring

By Anthony Torres, 10 March 2017

Amidst growing opposition among workers, the trade unions are calling strikes against contracts that the unions themselves have already signed.

Build the Socialist Equality Party (France)!

15 November 2016

This statement was adopted as the historical and political basis for the founding of the Parti de l’égalité socialiste, the French section of the ICFI.

French unions join far-right movement against refugees in Calais

By Anthony Torres, 12 September 2016

The CGT is inciting nationalist hatred to divide the workers and disorient their opposition to the wars and social cuts of the French government, which it helped elect.

Amid protests, French government uses emergency powers to impose draft labor law

By Alex Lantier, 6 July 2016

The use of the constitution’s Article 49-3 to impose a redraft of the law without a vote in the National Assembly testifies to the Socialist Party’s contempt for democracy.

Courts persecute opponents of French labour law in Amiens

By Antoine Lerougetel, 2 July 2016

Two anti-El Khomri law protesters, Manon Chelmy and high school student Jules, 18, were sentenced to 90 hours of community service.

French president pushes for labor law vote as unions try to defuse protests

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 1 July 2016

Having already threatened to ban protests against the law under the state of emergency, the PS government is working with the union bureaucracies to wind down opposition.

Mass protests follow failed attempt to ban opposition to French labor law

By Alex Lantier, 24 June 2016

Having pulled back from its attempt to ban demonstrations, the Socialist Party is proposing to outlaw left-wing parties that it considers opposed to the French state.

French government backs down from ban on protest against labor law

By Alex Lantier, 23 June 2016

Trade union officials told the Socialist Party government they feared large numbers of people would defy any ban on today's protest in Paris.

Despite mounting opposition, French unions signal concessions on labor law

By Alex Lantier, 20 June 2016

The Stalinist General Confederation of Labor has indicated that it may be open to negotiating firm-level contracts under the new law that violate the national Labor Code.

French government threatens ban on protests against labor law

By V. Gnana and Alex Lantier, 16 June 2016

Shaken by rising working class opposition, the Socialist Party is signaling that it is prepared to shred basic democratic rights and institute a police state regime to impose austerity.

Opposition mounts to French labor law in new national day of action

By Anthony Torres, 15 June 2016

Despite the government’s efforts to smash strikes and demoralize workers, marches in several cities were noticeably larger than in previous mobilizations.

French unions boost pressure to end strike movement against labor law

By Anthony Torres, 13 June 2016

The union bureaucracy is isolating workers, industry by industry, while preparing new talks with the Socialist Party government.

French government threatens to crush strikes as Euro 2016 football cup starts

By Alex Lantier, 11 June 2016

Workers also faced criticism from union officials, who pushed for an end to the strike with claims that striking during the Euro cup would reflect badly on their image.

Strikes against austerity in France and Belgium defy union pressure for sellout

By Alex Lantier, 9 June 2016

Garbage workers took strike action in several cities across France, joining rail, port and oil workers in France and rail workers in Belgium.

Striking rail workers speak out on movement against French labor law

By Alex Lantier and V. Gnana, 6 June 2016

WSWS reporters spoke to striking rail workers and students mobilized in solidarity with their strike at railway stations across Paris.

Strikes in France elicit support from German workers

By Verena Nees, 3 June 2016

Sympathy from workers and young people, anger and resentment in the media—this is how Germany is reacting to the strikes in France.

Strike wave against labor law spreads in France

By Kumaran Ira, 2 June 2016

As the trade union bureaucracy prepares to sell out an escalating strike wave, opposition to the Socialist Party’s “El Khomri” labor reform is mounting in the working class.

French strike movement exposes bankruptcy of New Anti-capitalist Party

By Alex Lantier, 2 June 2016

The emergence of the working class as the central force in struggle against France's Socialist Party government refutes the anti-working class perspective of the NPA.

The return of the “grand narrative”

By Andre Damon, 1 June 2016

The resurgence of the class struggle is undermining the intellectual charlatanry that underpinned the ideological dominance of various forms of anti-Marxism over the past half-century.

Belgian public sector goes on strike in run-up to French rail walkout

By Ross Mitchell and Alex Lantier, 1 June 2016

Workers are mobilising across national borders in Europe against the reactionary austerity policies that the entire European Union has imposed since the 2008 crash.

CGT union tries to block general strike against French labor law

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2016

On the BFM-Politique show, CGT General Secretary Philippe Martinez said he was in back-channel talks with the government over its unpopular labor law.

Amid strikes, French President Hollande pledges to impose labor law

By Alex Lantier, 28 May 2016

Hollande is manoeuvring to use the trade union bureaucracy to contain social anger among workers against his reactionary labor law reform.

As strikes spread, mass protests demand withdrawal of French labor law

By Alex Lantier and Johannes Stern, 27 May 2016

Hundreds of thousands of people marched throughout France Thursday in the eighth nationwide protest against the anti-worker law implemented earlier this month.

Rail strike hits Belgium

By Ross Mitchell, 27 May 2016

Rail workers began an indefinite strike Wednesday evening in Belgium, paralysing mass transit and creating traffic jams in Brussels.

Strike wave against austerity spreads in France, Belgium

By Kumaran Ira, 26 May 2016

Police repression of anti-austerity protests in France and Belgium is enraging workers and driving broader layers of the working class into struggle.

Mobilize European workers to defend French strikers!

By Alex Lantier, 26 May 2016

The most powerful ally of workers struggling against pro-austerity governments in France, Belgium and Greece is the European and international working class.

International finance capital and the strikes in France

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2016

The aim of the “structural reforms” demanded by the IMF and the financial elites is the destruction of all the social gains of the European working class won in the past seven decades.

French government seeks to crush strikes against labor law

By Alex Lantier, 25 May 2016

A number of strikers were wounded when security forces assaulted workers blockading oil installations at the Fos-sur-Mer port near Marseille.

Workers speak on police crackdown against oil protest in France

By Anthony Torres, 25 May 2016

Dockworkers and students described a "war scene" as hundreds of riot police attacked demonstrators in Marseillaise with tear gas and batons.

Oil workers mobilise against French labour law

By Kumaran Ira, 23 May 2016

The Socialist Party is sending riot police to break up refinery strikes as they cause fuel shortages across France.

French parliament extends state of emergency amid rising protests

By Alex Lantier, 20 May 2016

Contrary to official claims, the state of emergency is not aimed at Islamist terrorism, but at growing opposition in the working class to social austerity and military and police violence.

Defying police repression, protests continue against French labour law

By Stéphane Hugues, 18 May 2016

In the run-up to a rail strike planned for Wednesday, sections of truck drivers joined youth protesting the reactionary French labour law imposed by the Socialist Party government.

French government escalates repression of protests against labor law

By Stéphane Hugues, 17 May 2016

Even though this illegitimate and regressive law has technically been passed, a majority of the French people want protests against it to continue.

Paris meeting addresses war danger in Asia, bankruptcy of Tamil nationalism

By Kumaran Ira, 16 May 2016

Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) assistant secretary Deepal Jayasekera explained the necessity for an internationally-unified socialist movement to stop war.

French police attack demonstrations against regressive labor law

By Alex Lantier, 13 May 2016

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated across France yesterday against the Socialist Party’s efforts to impose far reaching reforms without a vote in the National Assembly.

A new strategy is needed to fight French labor law

By Alex Lantier, 13 May 2016

The most politically conscious and advanced layers of workers and youth must prepare themselves not only for the mass struggles that will erupt, but for socialist revolution.

Protests erupt in France against regressive labor law

By Alex Lantier, 12 May 2016

Protesters clashed violently with police and sacked the headquarters of the ruling Socialist Party in several cities across France.

Protests shrink as police attack fourth day of action against French labour law

By Alex Lantier, 29 April 2016

The protesters are coming up against the absence of a viable strategy for mounting a political struggle to defend basic social rights against a reactionary Socialist Party government.

Workers and youth in Amiens speak out against French labour reform

By Antoine Lerougetel, 29 April 2016

A WSWS team spoke to protesting youth who unanimously criticised the strategy of the trade and student unions as insufficient to struggle against the labour reform.

French police attack demonstrators protesting anti-worker labor law reform

By Alex Lantier and Stéphane Hugues, 11 April 2016

The decision of the trade unions and their political allies not to call workers on strike alongside protesting students left the PS government free to assault the demonstrators.

Police arrest Air France strikers who confronted bosses over mass layoffs

By Kumaran Ira, 14 October 2015

The arrest of the strikers is a deliberate act of political intimidation aimed at the working class as a whole, which is broadly sympathetic to the strikers.

Mercedes-Daimler imposes unpaid work at French Smart car plant

By Antoine Lerougetel, 23 September 2015

The workers’ decision to accept unpaid working hours in exchange for supposed job security was a vote of no confidence in the unions.

French bosses’ call to end permanent job contracts, facilitate mass layoffs

By Kumaran Ira, 7 April 2015

The French business group Medef is calling for the creation of a new type of job contract in order to facilitate individual and mass sackings of workers.

The legitimization of Marine Le Pen

By Joseph Kishore and Alex Lantier, 20 January 2015

By opening its pages to Le Pen, the New York Times has signaled that powerful sections of the ruling class view anti-Muslim racism as a legitimate part of the public debate.

Air France pilots union signs concessions contract for low-cost subsidiary

By Anthony Torres, 24 December 2014

The move is the inevitable consequence of the union's betrayal of the September strike against plans to create a low-cost Transavia-Europe airline.

What way forward for the Air France pilots’ strike?

By Alex Lantier, 30 September 2014

Pilots must reject the abject surrender demanded by the pilots union, which would only lead to deep cuts to wages and conditions.

Air France delays outsourcing of jobs amid pilots strike

By our reporters, 24 September 2014

Faced with growing opposition from different sections of Air France workers, the airline may postpone the full implementation of its low-cost subsidiary Transavia-Europe.