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European Marches against Unemployment - News and Archives
Absender : firstname.lastname@example.org (Christophe) Org.-Empf. : email@example.com Weiterleiter firstname.lastname@example.org Betreff : Euronews 3 / After France, Germany Datum : Mi 04.03.98, 08:05 (erhalten: 04.03.98) Groesse : 5652 Bytes ---------------------------------------------------------------------- marches97-info.eng ------------------
For all those present at Amsterdam, June 14, 1997, the birth of the French unemployment movement in December, then its organic form in January, comes as no surprise. It goes without saying that the date and shape of the movement were not planned. It was certainly predicable. For two main reasons. Firstly, because 1997, was a terrible year for the jobless. In France, for example, the unprecedented deterioration living conditions (notably accentuated by the suppression of the social fund, run by unemployment benefit centres (ASSEDIC). Whereas in Germany, it was the historic level of unemployment of 12.6% that struck the public's imagination. Another factor was that tactics against the decline in living standards were being already applied by organisations directly involved in combatting social exclusion (CdSL, DAL, DD!!), and by unemployment associations in conjonction with the European Marches against unemployment and social exclusion. In France, the movement expanded by joining up with the GCT trade union's "comités de privés d'emploi" (committee of workers without jobs); the only other organisation, to cooperate with all the other three associations of the unemployed, AC!, APEIS, MNCP. For some time all three groups have become used to taking joint actions and even joining forces with trade unions, such as the so-called "new tendency" ; FSU (education) SUD (Post Telecom etc.), Small Farmers Federation, CNT, Group of 10 ... The degree of unity was cleary evident on January 13, by the unemployed's banner bearing the slogan "All together, we continue" emblasoned with the 4 organisations' logos. (continued on page 2) (Continued from page 1) This gave strong recognition to unemployed, that institutional bodies, and even many other social partners have so far refused to give them up till now... During the first two weeks of January alone, the unemployed associations met for the very first time, the transport minister, the labour minister and finally the prime minister himself. The movement's achievements in such a short space of time is remarkable. The jobless are no longer mere statistics, they now have a clear social identity, a distinct united message, and form part of a movement that exists on a national and international level. Demands are clear : the right to work and the right to a decent livable income. At the same time these demands contain proposals effecting the whole social fabric of society. No one can ignore that the campaign for the reduction of working hours has mobilised wage-earners, unemployed and those in job insecurity. Job creation is one of the major issues at stake in the Jospin government 's 35 hour week bill and part of an on-going-debat.
The European dimension. Extensive coverage of the French unemployment movement has been given by the European media. It is seen not only as an historical event in itself, but as a the fight for jobs that transcends national boundaries. The German unemployed demonstrations and demands on Febuary 5, was a perfect example of solidarity. Dears friends,
There is Eurows bulletin n°3. You received it if you suscribed. Two informations : the euromarch network have european assises en Brussels, abril 19 & 19 ; and ENU informs us that the assembly will be in Glasgow abril 1 to 6.
Signs of more demonstrations to come following France and Germany are already visible in Belgium and Greece. The next French demonstration is fixed for March 7, and also happens to coincide with a planned demonstration in Germany for the next publication of German unemployment figures. The French movement's achievements are a strong argument for continuing and even stepping up mobilisation. Just a few examples are officiel recognition by public authorities and public opinion, and the 100 million FF for emergency aid. Significant actions targeted public utilities to prevent cutting off energy supplies : electricty, gaz and water; prevention of seizure of goods by bailiffs; The unemployed have already obtained the right to display unemployment organisations addresses but still not the right of representation on ANPE boards (the public service which runs jobs centres); they also got the promise to link the cost of living index to ASS ( a special fixed unemployment benefit given after the end of the degressive unemployment benefits). And finally, the structure and renforcement of the movement itself, as shown by its capacity to embrace new forces that help strengthen unemployed organisations in its fight against social exclusion. All this is very promising and should prove effective in the next series of militant actions. 1997 marked the beginning of the European social movement, 1998 will be the year of fruition.
"Marches europeennes contre le chomage, la precarite et les exclusions"
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Last Modified: April 15, 1998