French Workers In Revolt

Wildcat strike erupts at French National Railways over understaffing, austerity

By Alex Lantier, 22 October 2019

Workers walked off the job after a serious accident wounded 11, amid mounting anger at understaffing, pension cuts and the two-tier wage system introduced last year.

Hospital workers strike spreads throughout France

By Anthony Torres, 15 August 2019

The urgent care nurses and assistants are opposing Macron’s assault on healthcare and the deterioration of conditions for staff and patients.

Police launch mass arrests on Bastille Day in Paris

By Will Morrow and Alex Lantier, 15 July 2019

President Emmanuel Macron was booed and jeered as he drove in the motorcade down the Champs-Elysées on the traditional military parade Sunday morning.

205 Yellow vests statement

2 July 2019

French hospital workers strike against Macron’s health cuts

By Anthony Torres, 15 June 2019

Hospital strikes against the deterioration of the health system that began in March in Paris are now spreading throughout France.

French rail workers protest one year after rail privatization

By Anthony Torres, 6 June 2019

With anger growing among rail workers over station closures and worsening working conditions, the unions felt compelled to organize a symbolic one-day strike.

“Yellow vest” protesters speak on the European elections

By our reporters, 3 June 2019

“I came today to support the people fighting against this government that I am against, and because I want a real democracy,” Jennifer, 31, told campaigners for the Parti de l’égalité socialiste (Socialist Equality Party, PES).

“Yellow Vest” Facebook group with 350,000 members frozen on European election day

By Will Morrow, 28 May 2019

The group is used to organize “yellow vest” demonstrations and to share news articles, political statements and videos of police violence.

27th weekly “yellow vest” rally in France: Protesters defend Assange, denounce war

By Anthony Torres, 21 May 2019

Tens of thousands of “yellow vests” continue to defy police crackdowns and the French government’s provocative claims that it has satisfied all their demands.

French public sector workers strike against Macron government attacks

By Anthony Torres, 11 May 2019

Over 150 demonstrations took place Thursday against Emmanuel Macron’s “modernization” reform that would overturn conditions for public sector workers established in 1946.

New police crackdown in France as Macron to announce further austerity cuts

By Will Morrow, 23 April 2019

At last Saturday’s “yellow vest” protest, police were once again given free rein to violently assault and arrest protesters.

045 Yellow vest protest

2 April 2019

French “yellow vest” protests defy threat of army repression

By Anthony Torres, 25 March 2019

As a mass movement of workers and youth threatens to bring down the Algerian military regime, the government is desperate to rapidly strangle protests inside France.

Macron sends the French army against anti-austerity protests

By Alex Lantier, 22 March 2019

The move is a major step toward the implementation of police-state forms of rule in France, as part of a global onslaught against democratic rights.

Macron threatens to criminalize opposition to Zionism in France

By Will Morrow, 22 February 2019

The French president is stepping up police-state policies, highlighted by the violent crackdown on “yellow vest” protesters.

French media slanders “yellow vests” and Muslims as anti-Semites

By Will Morrow and Alex Lantier, 19 February 2019

France’s ruling elite is unleashing a provocative media campaign over a verbal confrontation between protesters and right-wing commentator Alain Finkielkraut.

French “yellow vests” hold 13th protest against social inequality, police brutality

By Anthony Torres, 11 February 2019

After the National Assembly voted a reactionary “anti-hooligan law” allowing police to ban protests without court rulings, a 13th “yellow vest” protest went ahead amid tensions with police.

“Yellow vest” assemblies meet in Commercy

The pseudo-left parties seek to intervene in France’s “yellow vest” movement

By V. Gnana and Alex Lantier, 5 February 2019

On January 26, the Assembly of “yellow vest” assemblies was held, after two previous meetings of the Popular Assembly at Commercy since the “yellow vest” movement began.

Twelfth “yellow vest” protest marches against police repression in France

By Anthony Torres, 4 February 2019

As unions prepare to call a token one-day strike tomorrow, masses of “yellow vest” protesters oppose the unions’ attempts to take over and strangle their movement.

French “yellow vests” applaud workers’ struggles against social inequality

By Anthony Torres, 29 January 2019

Some 69,000 people participated in the eleventh weekly protest of “yellow vests” in France, according to the Interior Ministry.

090 Yellow vests

28 January 2019

French “yellow vests” step up protests as Macron’s “national debate” begins

By Anthony Torres, 22 January 2019

Rejecting Macron’s offer of a “great national debate” with protesters this week, the “yellow vests” were mobilized in large numbers for this Saturday’s protests.

Macron offers “great national debate” as trap for French yellow vest protesters

By Anthony Torres, 21 January 2019

In a letter to the French people, Macron offered a choice of which social programs to cut.

220 State finances French unions

14 January 2019

French Prime Minister proposes government registry of demonstrators

By Alex Lantier, 8 January 2019

In face of growing workers’ anger, the Macron government has adopted neo-fascist proposals for domestic repression.

Growing “yellow vest” protests defy French police repression

By Anthony Torres, 7 January 2019

The protest Saturday, the first day of action of French “yellow vest” protesters in 2019, mobilized substantially larger forces than the last protests of 2018.

Yellow vest protesters rally across France on New Year’s Eve

By our reporters, 3 January 2019

To bring in the New Year, yellow vest protesters across France rallied to show their opposition to Macron and their determination to continue the movement.

France’s “yellow vest” protests and the fraud of Mélenchon’s “citizens revolution”

By Alex Lantier, 29 December 2018

With his calls for “yellow vest” protesters to carry out a “citizens revolution,” Mélenchon is trying to confuse, strangle and shut down the movement.

Commercy “yellow vest” protesters hold second Popular Assembly

By our reporter, 24 December 2018

Over 100 workers, contractors, small businesspeople and unemployed gathered to discuss perspectives for a struggle against French President Emmanuel Macron.

050 France yellow vests update

21 December 2018

20 December 2018

Parti de l’égalité socialiste holds Paris meeting on “yellow vest” protests

By our reporter, 18 December 2018

Several dozen people attended the meeting, including several “yellow vest” protesters as well as members of the Tamil community in Paris.

High school students protest in Paris against French government’s education reforms

By Alex Lantier, 12 December 2018

The students are opposing the government’s right-wing reforms and re-imposition of compulsory military service, while showing their support for the “yellow vests.”

Egypt bans yellow vest sales as French protesters reject Macron’s concessions

By Alex Lantier, 11 December 2018

Governments worldwide are panicking in the face of the growing militancy and political radicalization of the international working class.

UK workers, young people defend Yellow Vest protests in France: “I only wish that we could do it here as well!”

By our reporters, 11 December 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to workers and youth in Britain who support the Yellow Vest protests in France.

Which way forward for France’s “yellow vest” protests?

By Alex Lantier, 10 December 2018

The critical question is the independent organization of the working class, in France and internationally, in the preparation of a European general strike.

France’s “yellow vest” protesters brave repression and mass arrests

By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 9 December 2018

The French president’s attempts to staunch the protests through a combination of phony concessions and state violence have clearly failed.

French government threatens bloody crackdown on “yellow vest” protest

By Alex Lantier and Francis Dubois, 8 December 2018

Amid rising popular support for demonstrations against austerity and inequality, French officials are warning they will stop at nothing to halt the protests.

The demonstrations in France and the global class struggle

By Alex Lantier, 7 December 2018

As they face Macron’s brutal crackdown, workers and students in France fighting austerity and inequality must turn to the international working class.

“We stand with you because all of us are in the same fight”

US autoworkers express class solidarity with French workers

By Jerry White, 6 December 2018

The determination of the “yellow vest” protesters in the face of state repression by the French government has inspired workers in the United States and around the world.

France's “yellow vest” protests expose Jean-Luc Mélenchon's pro-capitalist populism

By Alex Lantier, 6 December 2018

Jean-Luc Mélenchon's attack on socialism and his proclamation of the political irrelevance of the working class reflect his hostility to growing social anger among workers.

Mobilize the working class against Macron!

By Alex Lantier, 5 December 2018

The critical task facing protests against austerity and inequality in France is to expand the struggle more broadly into the French and international working class.

French protests spark media demands for Facebook censorship

By Andre Damon, 5 December 2018

Sections of the press in France and the United States have seized upon the “yellow vest” demonstrations to directly demand the suppression of popular opposition on social media.

High school students and ambulance drivers join ‘Yellow Vest’ protests in France

By Alex Lantier, 4 December 2018

With a fourth consecutive Saturday of mass demonstrations against French President Emmanuel Macron’s regressive taxes planned this weekend, tens of thousands of high school students throughout France have staged demonstrations at their schools.

Strikes and demonstrations shake France

By Alex Lantier, 1 December 2018

The struggles pose the necessity of organizing workers and youth independently of the unions and the parties defending Macron.

Rejecting Macron’s speech, fuel tax protesters call new demonstrations in France

By Alex Lantier, 28 November 2018

French President Macron’s decision to give a speech addressing the protesters only made clear that he firmly intends to pursue his right-wing policies and has nothing to offer.

Slanders depicting “Yellow Vest” protesters as violent neo-fascists collapse

By our reporter, 28 November 2018

None of those arrested at the demonstrations in Paris were wanted on charges associated with either far-right or anarchist groups.

No to Macron’s maneuvers to strangle the Yellow Vest protests in France

By Alex Lantier, 27 November 2018

The talks Macron is slated to offer today to the Yellow Vest protesters are a trap for a movement that requires a turn to the working class and a revolutionary strategy.

French “Yellow Vest” protesters prepare road blockades against fuel tax hike

By Anthony Torres, 16 November 2018

Fear is growing in official circles that tomorrow’s nationwide road blockades could develop into an explosion of mass social anger against French President Macron.

Thousands protest Trump’s visit to Paris for centenary of World War I armistice

By our reporters, 13 November 2018

During the US president’s visit on November 11, thousands of people came out on Republic Square to protest war and austerity.

Workers and retirees rally against French government’s austerity policies

By Anthony Torres, 10 October 2018

As Macron slashes wage levels and basic social rights in France, growing numbers of workers distrust the unions and are calling for a general strike.

Despite rising social anger, Macron pledges to step up austerity attacks in France

By Alex Lantier, 16 June 2018

The multimillionaire banker-president denounced the “crazy amounts of money” he claims France spends on the poor.

Unions call four-day strike at Air France

By Kumaran Ira, 14 June 2018

The strike call comes amid rising anger in the workforce after workers voted to reject a concessions contract negotiation by the unions and Air France management.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 8—The centrist line of the OCI (4)

By Peter Schwarz, 6 June 2018

Fifty years ago, in May–June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

SEP holds Paris meeting on 50 years since May 1968 general strike

By our reporters, 5 June 2018

The Socialist Equality Party of France held a meeting on the political lessons of the May 1968 general strike on Sunday in Paris.

French rail workers strike at a crossroads

By Kumaran Ira and Alex Lantier, 1 June 2018

As the unions begin calling to put an end to the strike, the strike must be taken out of the hands of the unions and waged on an independent, revolutionary perspective.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 4—How Alain Krivine’s JCR covered for the betrayals of Stalinism (2)

By Peter Schwarz, 1 June 2018

Fifty years ago, in May–June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

French rail workers protest privatization plans

By V. Gnana and Senthooran Ravee, 31 May 2018

Rail workers were sympathetic to the Socialist Equality Party’s call for the formation of committees of action to unify the struggles against President Macron.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 3—How Alain Krivine’s JCR covered for the betrayals of Stalinism

By Peter Schwarz, 31 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May–June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 2—The betrayal of the PCF and CGT

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May–June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 1—A revolutionary situation develops

By Peter Schwarz, 29 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May-June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

The way forward for French workers

Build rank-and-file committees to oppose Macron’s austerity measures!

By Alex Lantier, 24 May 2018

In voting to reject privatization, French rail workers are at the forefront of a struggle of the entire working class against the Macron government. This struggle requires a revolutionary perspective.

France: PSA uses labor law to sack workers, boost working times in Vesoul plant

By Anthony Torres, 22 May 2018

Using the Socialist Party’s labor law and Macron’s labor decrees, automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroën plans to sack hundreds of workers and boost working times.

French unions negotiate with government to impose railway privatization

By Anthony Torres, 19 May 2018

France’s major trade unions are moving toward a capitulation to President Emmanuel Macron’s government in the face of this politically explosive and deeply unpopular attack.

French students blockade universities in struggle against selective admissions

By Guillaume Garnier, 15 May 2018

After the March 22 protest of rail and public workers against the privatisation of railways, students launched a movement to blockade universities across France.

The referendum at SNCF: The unions seek to strangle French rail strike

By Alex Lantier, 12 May 2018

The referendum on Macron’s reforms being prepared by the unions for May 14-21 represents a dead-end for railway workers.

Defying the trade unions, Air France workers vote to reject contract

By Alex Lantier, 8 May 2018

Workers defied not only threats from Air France and the government, but also from the union bureaucrats, who demanded that they approve the contract.

Trade unions in talks with French prime minister to strangle rail strike

By Anthony Torres, 1 May 2018

The unions are openly preparing to betray the strike, as the prime minister has said he will negotiate only if the unions accept virtually all of the government’s demands.

French students, workers march in April 19 protests against Macron

By Anthony Torres, 21 April 2018

The first protest of strikers from multiple professions since November 2017 took place amid spreading blockades of universities by students opposed to Macron.

Fifty years after May-June 1968, the class struggle erupts in France

By Alex Lantier, 7 April 2018

With growing opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s labour decrees, the class struggle in Europe is entering a new and explosive stage.

Strikes by railway workers and aircrews paralyze France

By our correspondents, 4 April 2018

The striking transit workers were joined by students walking out in opposition to the Macron government’s assault on public education.

Major strikes in France challenge Macron’s right-wing reforms

By Peter Schwarz and Eric London, 3 April 2018

The railway workers’ strike, which began Monday evening, is the biggest test of strength to date between President Emmanuel Macron and the French working class.

Air France workers strike to demand pay increase

By Anthony Torres, 23 February 2018

Rejecting a miserable sweetheart contract negotiated by a group of trade unions closely allied to management, Air France workers took strike action yesterday.

French president Macron prepares to privatize railways

By Anthony Torres, 13 February 2018

After announcing the end of lifetime employment guarantees for public sector employees, French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to do the same with rail workers.

French president Macron to end lifetime job guarantee for public sector workers

By Francis Dubois, 5 February 2018

The Macron government is seeking to scrap the rights of public sector workers amid rising strikes and social protests across Europe.

French automaker PSA colludes with unions to prepare mass job cuts

By Alex Lantier, 10 January 2018

PSA Peugeot-Citroën is slashing jobs across Europe and in France, where it is using provisions of President Emmanuel Macron’s antidemocratic labor decrees.

French truckers take strike action against Macron’s labor decrees

By Anthony Torres, 27 September 2017

The trade union bureaucracy is isolating the truckers’ strike in order to block the growth of a broad movement in the working class against President Macron and the EU.

In Paris, Mélenchon calls on trade unions to control opposition to austerity

By Anthony Torres and Kumaran Ira, 25 September 2017

On Saturday, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France movement held its national rally in the Place de la République in Paris.

Workers and youth mobilize in second protest against French labor reform

By Anthony Torres, 22 September 2017

Protesters who spoke to the WSWS opposed the destruction of the Labor Code and the growing drive to war and dictatorship in France and internationally.

220 Melenchon

20 September 2017

French unions try to strangle workers’ opposition to Macron

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 19 September 2017

The unions, whose strike calls are carefully prepared beforehand with the government, are terrified of being outflanked on their left by an eruption of workers’ struggles.

Truckers announce strike against attack on Labour Code in France

By Kumaran Ira, 16 September 2017

The French government has already stressed that it has no intention of modifying its position, despite growing opposition in the working class.

Hundreds of thousands march against Macron’s austerity measures in France

By Alex Lantier and Anthony Torres, 13 September 2017

The demonstrations point to the mounting opposition among French workers and youth to the government’s plans to carry out a social counterrevolution by executive fiat.

Macron announces cuts to French social programs

By Francis Dubois, 7 September 2017

In the wake of the decrees against the labor code, the government is launching attacks on unemployment insurance, housing and vocational training.

Mélenchon sets nationalist trap for opposition to austerity in France

By Anthony Torres, 7 September 2017

Mélenchon is proposing a populist and nationalist movement, compatible with a strategy of entry into the Macron government that he claims to oppose.

040 France labor law

5 August 2017

Gasoline and chemical truck drivers strike in France

By Francis Dubois, 30 May 2017

The unions are insisting that this strike should be limited to action in one industry and are seeking to avoid any serious interruption of industry and transport.

French auto parts workers at GM&S threaten to blow up plant to block closure

By Anthony Torres, 16 May 2017

The only way forward is a broad mobilization of workers to defend jobs at GM&S in a break with the union bureaucracies and in opposition to newly elected President Emmanuel Macron.

French air traffic controllers strike against work restructuring

By Anthony Torres, 10 March 2017

Amidst growing opposition among workers, the trade unions are calling strikes against contracts that the unions themselves have already signed.

Build the Socialist Equality Party (France)!

15 November 2016

This statement was adopted as the historical and political basis for the founding of the Parti de l’égalité socialiste, the French section of the ICFI.

French unions join far-right movement against refugees in Calais

By Anthony Torres, 12 September 2016

The CGT is inciting nationalist hatred to divide the workers and disorient their opposition to the wars and social cuts of the French government, which it helped elect.

Amid protests, French government uses emergency powers to impose draft labor law

By Alex Lantier, 6 July 2016

The use of the constitution’s Article 49-3 to impose a redraft of the law without a vote in the National Assembly testifies to the Socialist Party’s contempt for democracy.

Courts persecute opponents of French labour law in Amiens

By Antoine Lerougetel, 2 July 2016

Two anti-El Khomri law protesters, Manon Chelmy and high school student Jules, 18, were sentenced to 90 hours of community service.

Interview with Manon Chelmy, protester against the labour law

By Antoine Lerougetel, 2 July 2016

Manon Chelmy was sentenced to community service after taking part in a protest against the Socialist Party’s reactionary labour law.

Interview with Manon Chelmy, protester against the labour law

By Antoine Lerougetel, 2 July 2016

Manon Chelmy was sentenced to community service after taking part in a protest against the Socialist Party’s reactionary labour law.

French president pushes for labor law vote as unions try to defuse protests

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 1 July 2016

Having already threatened to ban protests against the law under the state of emergency, the PS government is working with the union bureaucracies to wind down opposition.

045 CGT tacitly backs application of labor law to rail workers

29 June 2016

Mass protests follow failed attempt to ban opposition to French labor law

By Alex Lantier, 24 June 2016

Having pulled back from its attempt to ban demonstrations, the Socialist Party is proposing to outlaw left-wing parties that it considers opposed to the French state.

French government backs down from ban on protest against labor law

By Alex Lantier, 23 June 2016

Trade union officials told the Socialist Party government they feared large numbers of people would defy any ban on today's protest in Paris.

Despite mounting opposition, French unions signal concessions on labor law

By Alex Lantier, 20 June 2016

The Stalinist General Confederation of Labor has indicated that it may be open to negotiating firm-level contracts under the new law that violate the national Labor Code.