Pension reform: the unions shoot the amendment scenario on sight

Posted Sep 19, 2022, 7:11 PM

In the invitation sent to the social partners ten days ago, Olivier Dussopt had planned an exchange on the new forecasts from the Pensions Orientation Council . However, it was not on the figures that the discussion focused this Monday morning at the Ministry of Labor but on the opportunity to accelerate the timetable for pension reform via an amendment to the social security financing bill (PLFSS).

Everyone came, no one left the room along the way, the names didn't fly. But the exchanges were tense with the unions. They had already said through the media all the harm they thought of such a scenario. Their representatives repeated this to their ministerial interlocutor. "There is no urgency", "No danger in delay", "We must not take the subject by the small end of the telescope", affirmed the trade unionists who were numerous: the five confederations, CFDT , CGT, FO, CFTC and CFE-CGC as well as Unsa and FSU had all responded present contrary to the launch of the National Council for Refoundation .

“The worst method”

Unsurprisingly, their protest was unanimous: an amendment to the PLFSS “would be the worst method”, thus denounced Benoît Teste, the secretary general of the FSU. “If the government seeks to force through, it will find the CGT,” warned Catherine Perret, recalling her call for mobilization on September 29.

The president of the CFE-CGC, François Hommeril, insisted on the need for a sharing of value between capital and work while Dominique Corona of Unsa denounced the government's desire to reduce the share of pensions in GDP. Michel Beaugas, in charge of pensions in the direction of Force Ouvrière, castigated the “very accounting vision” of the government, denouncing a “package of social regression” against which the government “will find FO on the road”.

"There is no big problem in the short term, there is no fire in the pension system, let's not set fire to the country", for his part insisted Yvan Ricordeau, of the CFDT, reiterating the threat brandished the day before by the general secretary of the first French union, Laurent Berger, to leave the CNR.

No calendar item

However, the government did not garner enthusiastic support from employers. Its representatives have pleaded for reform. But the choice of whether or not to go through the PLFSS is a "political choice", pleaded the Medef and the CPME. The U2P has even made its little music heard, criticizing the idea of ​​​​legislating in an emergency.

“We are not reassured”, added Cyril Chabanier, the leader of the CFTC, while no element of the calendar was given by Olivier Dussopt. The latter simply noted that the Pension Monitoring Committee, made up of experts, will submit its “recommendations” to the Prime Minister on Thursday. Another source of concern: the minister warned that there could be no question of starting from scratch, given the consultations carried out by Jean-Paul Delevoye then Laurent Pietraszewski in 2019.

The unions must meet in inter-union on October 3 at Unsa. If the path of the PLFSS is chosen, the opposition will be frontal. The second hypothesis mentioned by Olivier Dussopt – that of the launch of discussions with the month of March in sight – would break this unanimity. It would reappear a fracture within the organizations of employees even if all declare themselves ready to participate in consultations, avoiding the government a frontal opposition but without an agreement necessarily taking shape.

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