French workers flood streets to protest capitalist austerity measures.“Badly paid, scorned, our jobs in jeopardy, layoffs, cuts in sick pay, tax hikes, increased required deductions for teachers’ pensions, salary freezes” are some of the reasons the Federation of United Unions (FSU), one of the major unions representing teachers in France, gave for a one-day walkout Oct. 10.There are 5.4 million public service workers in France, in areas such as the railroads and subways, air traffic controllers, teachers and health care workers from doctors to porters. Even in privatized sectors like the post office and the telephone system, there are still pockets of public workers.These public workers all have similar grievances to the teachers and at least 400,000 of them walked out Oct. 10 to challenge the government of President Emmanuel Macron and its big-business allies. The latter explicitly have told public service workers that they have to do more with less. They plan to cut 120,000 jobs in the next 5 years.According to the General Confederation of Workers (CGT), marches and protests took place in 90 communities throughout France: 45,000 marched in Paris; between 6,400 and 12,000 in Lyons; more than 10,000 in Bordeaux; 9,000 in Rouen; and 3,000 in Saint-Denis on the French-owned island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean.For the first time in more than a decade, all the French union confederations participated. It’s true that Workers Force (FO) was allied with the CGT in 2016 to militate against the “Socialist” government’s attack on French labor. Lately, however, only the CGT and some smaller confederations, like Solidaires, have resisted the attacks from Macron’s Forward the Republic Party (LREM).The leadership of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT), the labor confederation vying with the CGT to become the largest, most influential in France, has been under increasing pressure from its base to actively oppose the new labor law imposed by the LREM government. The CFDT has also seen its allies in the French “Socialist” Party, a party which has often run France’s bourgeois imperialism, crushed in the last election.All of the major progressive parties on the French left had contingents in the Paris march — the French Communist Party (PCF), the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) and Unbowed France (FI) were the most prominent, but even the Socialist Party had a presence.Unbowed France has been particularly active. François Raffin, one of its deputies, a prominent leader of Nuits Debout and a well-known movie director, took the floor in Parliament on Oct. 11 to accuse Macron, his prime minister Edouard Philippe and some other top government ministers of personally attempting to cover up a scandal in Sanofi. Sanofi, a giant French pharmaceutical company, has been charged with selling a dangerous drug called Dékapine. (FranceSoir, Oct. 12)Macron has also been forced to defend himself over his characterization of workers in France as “slackers,” more interested in “going to brothels” than going to work.The CGT has called for another strike and demonstration Oct. 19, and there will be an all-union meeting to plan further actions in early November.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
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1 England’s players celebrate Marcus Rashford’s debut goal Marcus Rashford’s incredible rise continued when he took less than three minutes of his England debut to grab his first goal for his country.The young striker fired Roy Hodgson’s men into an early lead, before Wayne Rooney secured the victory in the second half.It was not a convincing performance by the Three Lions, and Eric Dier’s headed own goal put their position under threat late on, but the hosts held on for the win in their second pre-Euro 2016 warm-up game.Rashford was named in the starting XI due to injury to Daniel Sturridge, and he dispelled any nerves early on.The youngster cleverly played in the overlapping Raheem Sterling as England broke, but decided to linger in the space in the area rather than move towards goal.The Manchester City man’s cross deflected off the first man and sat up perfectly for Rashford, who sent a composed finish past Matthew Ryan at the near post.It was fairytale stuff, as he became his country’s third youngest scorer behind Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen, with the former allowing himself a smile on the substitutes bench.The goal was the perfect start for the Three Lions, but they failed to further prove their dominance, as the visitors grew into the game.They started to control possession with ease, and offered a few threats to the shaky England backline; Robbie Kruse’s powerful blocked shot being the best chance.Rashford had the chance to double his tally a quarter of an hour in, but he failed to capitalise on Sterling’s inch perfect pass when his control let him down.Adam Lallana also had the chance to put the hosts two ahead, but the impressive Ryan saved well after the Liverpool winger tried to turn home Rashford’s clever pass.Joshua Risdon and Jamie Maclaren both threatened to get the Socceroos back on level terms, but Chris Smalling and John Stones respectively interfered in time to prevent either player getting a shot off at Fraser Forster’s goal.Jordan Henderson tested Ryan with minutes to go of the opening period, the Valencia keeper pushing a curling attempt over the bar to keep the score 1-0 at the break.Rooney was introduced at half-time, alongside James Milner, taking part in his first England action since the end of the domestic season.And it was the skipper who grabbed the second for the hosts 10 minutes in to the second half.Australia threatened, and continually made England’s defence look poor, but a counter attack from the Three Lions resulting in Rooney crashing the ball home after being played through by Sterling.It was harsh on the visitors, but it presented a real conundrum for Hodgson, who has now seen all four of his strikers to have played in the friendlies hit the back of the net.Nathaniel Clyne went close with a long range attempt as the Three Lions pushed for a third, with Rooney’s goal seeming to take much of the fight out of Australia.Eric Dier was brought on to give him minutes at centre-back, knowing he is the fourth option in Hodgson’s selection should either of the natural defenders be out of action.However, moments after entering the field, the Spurs midfielder sent a low near post header past Forster to get the visitors back into the game.The goal did little to kickstart an Australia fight back, and the hosts saw out the win with comparative ease, ensuring the 100% pre-tournament record continues for the Three Lions.