Generalize the strike to increase wages and share wealth


The employees of Total and Exxon Mobile are demanding the re-indexation of wages to inflation with an immediate increase of 7.5% at ExxonMobil and 10% at Total Energies.

These claims are legitimate. The Total Energies group announced at the end of September that it would pay dividends of more than 2.62 billion euros to its shareholders, in addition to its $7 billion share buyback program. Worse, the CEO of Total increased his salary from 3.9 to 5.9 million euros last spring, bringing it to 500,000 euros per month! The indecency of capital has no limit.

Despite a context of high inflation, the government refused this summer the general increase in wages. The workers’ response was therefore to trigger strikes, which are now spreading like wildfire.

At EDF, Wednesday, eight reactors in the power plants of Cattenom (Moselle), Tricastin (Drôme), Cruas (Ardèche) and Bugey (Ain) were affected by the strike. Strikes are increasing in transport and in local authorities in Dijon, St Nazaire or Aix en Provence. The SUD-Rail union has filed a notice with the SNCF for a movement which will begin Monday, October 17 at the Technicentre of Landy, in Seine-Saint-Denis.

Strike movements are also increasing in the private sector, such as at Safran Nacelles, which manufactures the nacelle for the Airbus A320neo, at ATS in Alès, or in private clinics, such as Saint-Martin in Caen. At Horiba Medical, based at Euromédecine in Montpellier, 170 of the 550 employees had also stopped work on Wednesday. Strike again in the gymnasiums of Montreuil. And the list of social conflicts continues to grow.

This return to the strike is good news for social justice. Remember that it remains the best way to make the holders of the means of production give in. Indeed, during a strike, business owners lose money. This must always remind us that only the work of employees produces value in the company. When a shareholder goes on vacation, it does not change the company’s turnover or profit. When an employee is on strike, production is stopped, there are no more profits for the capitalist, which is why he panics. This panic is all the greater as the strike can be contagious. It is for this reason that some media stigmatize the strikers by treating them as grumbling extremists.

If the strike becomes widespread, we will be able to obtain a general increase in wages and move towards a better sharing of work. With this summer of heat waves and inflation, the economic and ecological crises have deepened. We can win on several claims, which would change the lives of all.

This inflation-related crisis shows us once again that it is absolutely necessary to index wages, pensions, social minima and unemployment benefits to inflation so that as many people as possible do not pay the price energy speculation. On the contrary, we must make the profiteers of the crisis pay, by taxing the super-profits. We must freeze prices in food, energy and housing to meet basic needs. It is necessary to create public poles of energy and transport to initiate a real ecological planning. Finally, we must also better share the work with retirement at 60, a sixth week of paid vacation and the 32-hour week.

If the strikes get stronger, it is possible to obtain the establishment of such a program. Let’s dream a little. After 36 and 68, we obtained historical social gains. Everything is always possible, when employees mobilize in unity.


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