“Massive rejection in all asset classes fuels mobilization”
ATith a level of rejection that continues to intensify, the government seems to have lost the battle of public opinion over its pension reform project. This opposition is confirmed in the sample survey carried out by the collective of Critical Quantity researchers among a representative national sample of 4,000 individuals, between February 15 and 28, 2023. The rejection of the reform is largely in the majority (69 % of assets), as well as support for the current social movement (59% of assets support or participate in it).
This rejection is in the majority in all categories of people in activity: it is certainly stronger among members of the intermediate professions, employees and workers, but remains in the majority among managers (64%). The opposition is less clearly dominant among those aged 65 and over (43% in favor of the reform, 44% opposed) and people declaring a level of net income greater than 4,000 euros per month (51% in favor, 42% opposed) .
This massive refusal first refers to a fact that has been documented for years: the deterioration of employment and working conditions. The support given to demonstrations, strikes and blockades attests, for its part, to the government’s loss of legitimacy and the possibility of a widening of the protest in the days to come.
Harsh working conditions
Opposition to the reform project can be seen among employees as well as among the self-employed. Workers with the most arduous activities and the most precarious statuses are at the heart of the rejection, but this is also strongly expressed by the most qualified. The opposition reached 82% among those who chose four negative qualifiers among the following four (“stressful”, “dangerous”, “repetitive” and “tiring”) to describe their work. It peaks in sectors of activity known for harsh working conditions, such as industry, personal services, transport, health and education.
If the levels of rejection of the reform are very close in the private sector (69%) and the public (74%), the opposition is more heterogeneous in the first case than in the second. Private executives are the most divided, but the rejection of the reform remains very majority (60% opposed and 25% in favor). In the public sector, the level of opposition varies less according to the category of agents concerned.
The solidity of status is another key variable in understanding the intensity of opposition to reform. The unemployed and temporary workers, for example, are 76% and 79% to say they are opposed to the project. Employees fearing a loss of salary or income in the next period are also 76% to oppose it.
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