trade unions vigilant in the face of the government’s social agenda

Social return to the Ministry of Labor. The Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, and the Minister Delegate for Vocational Training, Carole Grandjean, presented to unions and employers, Monday morning September 12, their roadmap on social issues. With a stated objective: to achieve full employment, the banner under which Emmanuel Macron placed his second five-year term.

“We can no longer afford to have a high unemployment rate which coexists with recruitment difficulties”, we repeat at the Ministry of Labor. Hence the desire to reform unemployment insurance, by ensuring that the unemployed are more encouraged to fill vacant jobs thanks to a “countercyclical” compensation system: the unemployed would be less well compensated when the labor market he job is dynamic, and better protected when the economic situation becomes difficult.

“Do not obscure the whole”

But, if it is supported by the employers, and in particular the Medef, the government will have to come up against the opposition of the unions. A negotiation in good and due form being therefore difficult, it is a simple “consultation” which will open on the subject.

“This question should not obscure the whole, we argue in the entourage of Olivier Dussopt. It is a global subject which also supposes taking an interest in questions of housing, mobility or even childcare. » These are all problems that the social partners have long identified as obstacles to the return to work of the unemployed.

The High Commissioner for Employment and Business Engagement, Thibaut Guilluy, is also due to travel to the Somme on Wednesday to launch the vast reform to transform Pôle emploi into France Travail and which, in addition to the social partners, must also involve the regions (responsible for vocational training) and the departments (responsible for the RSA). Compensation for the unemployed will therefore only be one subject of the reform, over which the social partners fear losing control.

“The country needs reform”

The other issue that worries the unions is that of pensions. Pension reform only appears between the lines of the government’s stated priorities. Who, to reassure the unions, intends first to open the sites of the arduousness and the employment of seniors, dear to the unions. “We are ready to discuss these issues,” thus confirms Cyril Chabanier, president of the CFTC.

On the employers’ side, if the Medef does not make pension reform a priority, preferring to concentrate on that of unemployment insurance, the Confederation of small and medium-sized enterprises is in favor. “There is never a good time, but the country needs reform,” underlines its president François Asselin.

Officially, the executive says it is waiting for the next report from the Pensions Orientation Council, which will be published Thursday afternoon. According to AFP, the report should announce a surplus of 900 million euros in 2021, then 3.2 billion in 2020, before “deteriorate significantly” from 2023 then to return to equilibrium in the mid-2030s.

“It would lead to demonstrations and strikes”

The unions therefore fear that the announced degradation, although temporary, will serve as a pretext for new age measures. Thus the Touraine reform of 2014 which, until 2035, gradually increases the contribution period to reach forty-three years for people born in 1973 or later, that an amendment to the Social Security financing bill could speed it up so that it concerns, for example, more quickly the generations born in 1962-1963.

“It would be dangerous and would lead to strong mobilization, demonstrations and strikes,” warns Michel Beaugas, confederal secretary of Force Ouvrière, in charge of employment and pensions. “It would block all the other construction sites”, warns Cyril Chabanier.

And the secretary general of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, to warn: “We are ready to commit to supporting RSA beneficiaries or long-term job seekers, but serenity will not be in order if the fall is disrupted by a brutal measure. »

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