French Workers In Revolt

Paris transport workers vote to end unlimited strike against Macron

By Alex Lantier, 20 January 2020

President Emmanuel Macron has been able to rely on his close collaboration with the trade unions, which helped him formulate and negotiate his pension cuts.

Police assault “yellow vests” after Macron forced to flee crowd in Paris theater

By Alex Lantier, 20 January 2020

Macron’s ignominious flight from the Bouffes du nord theater underscores that he cannot show his face in public anywhere without provoking serious protests.

Hundreds of thousands protest pension cuts in France

By Alex Lantier, 17 January 2020

Support for the strike and opposition to Macron continue to grow even after the government made a few minor, insincere changes to its proposed cuts.

French strikers march as Prime Minister Philippe offers cosmetic changes to pension cuts

By Alex Lantier and Anthony Torres, 13 January 2020

Hundreds of thousands of strikers and “yellow vests” marched against French President Emmanuel Macron’s pension cuts Saturday.

Millions march in France as strikes against Macron pension cut spread

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 10 January 2020

Refinery, port and airline workers joined the strike as hundreds of thousands of workers and youth marched against austerity, militarism and police repression.

Amiens railworkers vote to continue strike against French President Macron

By Antoine Lerougetel, 28 December 2019

Workers, students, teachers and “yellow vest” protesters came to support the strike, which has lasted since December 5 and shut down rail transport across France.

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27 December 2019

“We’re sending a message: there will be no holiday truce”

Strikers call to step up class struggle against French President Macron

By Alex Lantier, 27 December 2019

The ongoing mass transit and public sector strike which is paralyzing much of transport in France to protest Macron’s pension cuts entered its fourth week today.

040 Daimler workers support strike wave in France

27 December 2019

Germany: Daimler workers support the strike wave in France

By K. Nesan, 27 December 2019

Discussions with German workers give a sense of the growing opposition to the hackneyed and hollow promises of the company union.

French strikers oppose “Christmas truce” called by Macron and trade unions

By V. Gnana and Alex Lantier, 24 December 2019

The rail and energy strike is not weakening, and strikers are increasingly demanding to organize their own strike independently of union bosses who negotiate with the state.

From Cavaignac to Villiers: The class struggle in France and the lessons of history

By Alex Lantier, 20 December 2019

This week General Pierre de Villiers called for more “firmness” in repressing the weeks-long mass strike against President Emmanuel Macron’s austerity agenda.

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20 December 2019

French unions meet prime minister to sell out mass strike to defend pensions

By Alex Lantier and Johannes Stern, 19 December 2019

While strikers are calling for an end to talks with the government, the unions are seeking a rotten compromise they can use to justify selling out the strike.

Millions march against French pension cuts amid public sector strike

By our reporters, 18 December 2019

Some 1.8 million strikers, youth and retirees marched in opposition to President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to impose steep pension cuts.

Build independent committees of action to bring down the Macron government in France!

By Alex Lantier, 17 December 2019

The strike movement in France is part of a global upsurge of the class struggle that has led to mass strikes and protests on every continent.

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17 December 2019

French prime minister vows to impose pension cuts despite growing strikes

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 12 December 2019

In his speech, Edouard Philippe vowed to impose a pension cut opposed by two thirds of the population.

Mass marches and strikes against Macron’s pension cuts continue across France

By Alex Lantier, 11 December 2019

Rail, mass transit and broader sections of the French public sector continued strikes begun on December 5 in an emerging trial of strength between the workers and Macron.

Protest marches called this week as French public sector strike continues

By Alex Lantier, 9 December 2019

Strikes are set to continue today, as hundreds of thousands of French public sector workers protest President Emmanuel Macron’s pension cuts and austerity policies.

The way forward for the mass strike in France

By Alex Lantier, 7 December 2019

The working class faces a fight to bring down the Macron government, drawing into struggle ever broader layers of workers and youth in France and internationally.

1.5 million march amid mass strike in France against austerity and inequality

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 6 December 2019

Tens of thousands of rail, government, and education workers went on strike against plans by French President Emanuel Macron to slash pensions.

French public sector strikers call to free Julian Assange

By Alex Lantier and V. Gnana, 6 December 2019

Strikers denounced the imprisonment of the Australian journalist under appalling conditions in Britain, for having revealed imperialist war crimes in Iraq.

French public sector strike: Build independent committees of action for political struggle against Macron

By Anthony Torres, 5 December 2019

The December 5 strike is part of a vast international resurgence of class struggle in opposition to social inequality and military-police repression.

Calls grow for mass December 5 protest strike against French pension cuts

By Anthony Torres, 29 November 2019

Amid an international resurgence of class struggle, it is critical for workers to take control of their struggles from the hands of the corrupt union bureaucracies.

Workers and youth protest French president’s visit to Amiens

By Pierre Mabut, 26 November 2019

The town was in lockdown, with riot police on duty at all intersections, and only vetted guests were allowed to attend official engagements.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.