Communist and Socialist trade unions in France are preparing a national strike against the government's new economic policy.
Communist and Socialist trade unions in France are preparing a national strike against the government's new economic policy. While most of the country enjoyed the traditional August holiday - the Government announced what President Giscard d'Estaing called a budget of `national solidarity'. The trade unions felt differently and the most powerful one, the CGT (Confederation General de Travail) called for an `action week' of stoppages and protest meetings throughout France. The Socialist CFTD (Confederation Francaise Democratique de Travail) have been at odds with the CGT, but the leaders of the two unions have agreed to begin a first stage of reconciliation.
SYNOPSIS: One of the two hundred rallies staged in paris alone, was held at the Place de la Republique on Wednesday (5 September). Members of some trade unions carried banners denouncing the CGT's independent action, fearing it might spoil the fragile solidarity being reborn among the various unions. However meetings between the unions are expected to breech their political differences.
The leader of the CGT Union, M. Georges Seguy addressed the rally.
He described the recent government economic measures as `antisocial and derisory'. He implicitly swept aside the Budge message that called for a marked increase in public spending to create more jobs, and a heavier tax on high incomes. M. Seguy called for the three major unions to join the initiative for `big strikes' in support of precise demands.
The budget's tax increases will mean another three to seven percent on moderate and higher incomes. Low wages earners will be exempt. But price increases on petrol, food, alcohol and tobacco will affect everyone.