Macron turns France’s labor decrees on auto workers
29 December 2017
Yesterday, automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroën announced that it is preparing deregulated mass sackings, in the first use of French President Emmanuel Macron’s labor law decrees in a major industrial firm. Talks with the trade unions, whose approval for the mass sackings is required according to the Macron decrees, are to begin on January 9.
The move by Europe’s second-largest automaker is part of a relentless international assault on workers’ jobs, working conditions and social rights. After the 2008 Wall Street crash and global crisis, as governments worldwide poured trillions of dollars into the coffers of the same banks whose speculation had caused the crisis, the French state paid billions of euros to bail out PSA and Renault. In return, the auto giants are sacking workers to funnel billions of euros more in wealth created by the working class into the pockets of the superrich.
The policy spearheaded by Macron, who is now broadly viewed with contempt and distrust in France as the “president of the rich,” aims to throw the working class back decades. With PSA subsidiary Opel Vauxhall poised to cut 4,500 jobs in Germany alone, tens of thousands of PSA jobs across Europe are threatened. A decade after the Detroit auto bailout slashed the wages of newly-hired workers by half, the goal is to impose speed-up, increase flexibility of working times, and transition to a workforce largely made up of temporary workers, who in France are paid little over €9 per hour.
Internationally, the financial aristocracy is preparing a historic attack on the working class for 2018. Siemens is cutting 15,000 jobs in order to reap billions in profits, while GE has planned 12,000 job cuts. In Europe, governments are…