in companies, the tension mounts on wages

Filtering operations in front of logistics warehouses, towing around ten stores … employees of the French DIY giant, Leroy-Merlin, were on strike Friday, November 19 at the call of an inter-union CFDT-CFTC-CGT- FO to denounce the weakness of the salary increases proposed by the company. An unprecedented movement in this brand. Like the two days of strike that affected the sportsman Decathlon on October 16 and November 12, for the first time in its history.

In the context of the compulsory annual negotiations (NAO) of remuneration, walkouts and strike movements are emerging this fall. More than their scale, it is the fact that they are bursting into sectors and companies hardly used to mobilizations that is surprising.

“I had never seen that! The last strike at Labeyrie was in 2012! “, testifies Stéphane Lecointre, central union delegate Force Ouvrière of the food group, which experienced three weeks of strike, until November 10, on its site of Saint-Geours-de-Maremne in the Landes. The movement had started on October 16, at 4:30 a.m. “About thirty employees have decided to get started. It came from them! They then asked the unions for assistance. And then it went like wildfire, in a few hours, 300 were outside, they were just waiting for this. »

Also unprecedented is the event in Châteaulin (Finistère) by employees of Eurofins, a group of analysis laboratories that entered the CAC 40 in September. Even the representatives of the CGT of H & M confide to have been surprised to count a thousand strikers on October 19. At the industrial poultry company Arrivé Maître Coq, the last walkout dates back to 2010, the last day of the strike in 1989. On November 4, more than 600 of the 2,000 employees of the group’s Vendée sites were on strike according to Catherine Girard, CFDT central delegate.

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Grassroots movements

“There is a background noise of walkouts and strikes at the moment, with, and this is unprecedented, a lot of movements pushed by the base, not by trade unions”, confirms Richard Roze, Federal Secretary FGTA-FO (agrifood), who recalls that in eight years in office he had only known four pickets.

Undoubtedly the context encourages it to be more offensive, indicates Baptiste Giraud, lecturer in political science at the University of Aix-Marseille. ” The intensity of strike movements always depends on the economic situation, he recalls. After a period of uncertainty, when we feared losing our jobs, we hear everywhere that it is the recovery and that we are having trouble recruiting. The balance of power is more favorable for making claims. “

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