Thursday, December 1, 2022
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Unemployment insurance, an issue for everyone at work

Barely a year after the implementation of a violent reform of unemployment insurance, the government wants to impose a new one, without even having evaluated the previous one. Remember that only 36% of jobless people are compensated, a figure in free fall. Remember that 6 to 8 million people are deprived of employment, while the right to work is enshrined in the constitution. We are a long way from the “profiteers” depicted by government and employers. To circumvent the unanimous opposition of trade union organizations to a further setback in rights, the government has announced a simple consultation, instead of the negotiation provided for by law. The same goes for Parliament, whose role will be limited to signing a blank check, authorizing the government to legislate by decree on unemployment insurance. A democratic heist!

The government wants to be able to modulate the duration of compensation according to the unemployment rate. The objective: to lower, once again, the duration of compensation to force the deprived of employment to accept any job, whatever the salary or the geographical location. Result: downgrading for the most qualified, unemployment and precariousness for the others. A bad answer to a real question. Recruitment difficulties are real, but limited. They concern sectors marked by low wages, atypical hours and difficult working conditions (home help, coach drivers, construction, etc.). Or qualified profiles, in health, social or IT, for which the shortage is explained by a lack of anticipation in terms of training and an attractiveness at half mast due to salaries that are too low and a loss of meaning… Above all, these one-off recruitment difficulties should not hide the increase in layoffs, which are now 11% higher than in 2019! The introduction of “counter-cyclical” rights, varying according to the economic situation, therefore aims to lower wages and generate new savings.

In 2022, the unemployment insurance accounts are however in surplus by 2.2 billion! This is a break with the contributory principle, the basis of unemployment insurance, which guarantees employees who lose their jobs the maintenance of their standard of living. The direct result of the 2019 reform, which replaced unemployment employee contributions with the CSG. As the CGT has always said, modifying the financing changes the philosophy of the system. We go from rights acquired by contributions paid, the “socialized salary”, to benefits financed by taxes, “national solidarity”, and therefore conditioned, capped and paid to the most needy… which we can then easily show on point. The factory of what the liberals call “assistantship”.

This modification of financing is accompanied by a democratic change: while the rules of unemployment insurance were defined by agreement between employers and unions, they will now be directly defined in the Social Security financing bill (PLFSS ), adopted by Parliament or by 49-3. This is what is called the nationalization of the system. It is to prevent this hold-up on our rights that the CGT claims funding through contributions. The more universal the system, the better it protects the weakest. The proof: integrating senior executives who earn more than 13,000 euros in unemployment insurance by subjecting all of their salaries to contributions and guaranteeing them allowances would release 800 million euros in additional annual resources for the scheme! See you on September 29 to demand the withdrawal of this reform!

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