Bastia: “The voice of workers” demands measures in the face of the crisis

In this first interprofessional mobilization day back to school, fashion shows were organized on Thursday morning at Bastiathen in the afternoon at Ajaccio, to which were added walkouts within public services, at EDF or at La Poste. Act I of social protest.

Going down boulevard Paoli, Thursday morning in Bastia, the strikers who joined the first interprofessional mobilization of the start of the school year all had the same reading of the social situation: declining purchasing power, rising inflation and frozen wages.

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In Bastia, as in Ajaccio, retirees and employees marched to make people hear “the voice of the workers”. National demands on the cost of living or on retirement have been added to regional considerations, exacerbating the global problem. “Purchasing power is the keystone of our demands, and this necessarily involves increasing wages”insists Charles Casabianca, the secretary general of the CGT Haute-Corse, taking the lead in the parade alongside the Snuipp-FSU. “For an AESH, it’s the salary of fear, between 600 to 700 euros, for a beginner school teacher, it’s 1,650 euros with bonus, we are asking for a salary increase of 300 euros for all!”, outbid Fabien Mineo, the departmental secretary of Snuipp-FSU. We are simply here to ask for dignified working conditions and to be able to support our families”, underlines Mireille Maillard, Solidaires Public Finances delegate.

Better wages: the weapon against the crisis?

The last increase in the level of the minimum wage of 2.01% on 1is August, by law, seems to have gone unnoticed. Especially since food inflation is now approaching the 10% threshold at the national level. “And our salaries are not calculated on the increase in the minimum wage, but we want it to be!”, points out Charles Casabianca who, for this mobilization, had favored the strategy of gathering – within the public services themselves, at EDF or at La Poste – before operating “a convergence of struggles” during the parade.

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Cuts in the workforce, multiplication of tasks, changes in working conditions… whatever the public services encountered, the shortcomings listed are glaring. But Thursday it was the collective demands that were defended in the first place.

In the row, behind no sign or banner, finds Karl. At 24, this young man, a graduate of the Sorbonne, is unemployed, waiting to prepare for his competition. Without unemployment or ARS, he knows that daily life can be difficult. “It’s very complicated but I’m lucky because I have my family but for isolated people, it’s harder. While there are some who gorge themselves others die the slab, this n is not possible.”

The toolbox of solutions, apart from salary increases, could appear very empty four years after the yellow vests crisis. And yet, the debate in Corsica on the price of gasoline or on the labels of food products is far from over. “Our local oligarchs need to distribute the wealth differently.”

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In the middle of the 250 people who responded to the call for mobilization in Bastia, Jean, CGT label stuck on his chest, came to defend the purchasing power of pensioners indexed to inflation but also in the interest of the younger generations”. A committed fashion show for Jean. A contribution “obvious” for Maxime and François, in their thirties. Faced with the energy crisis in Europe, these EDF agents had to be involved. In the light of the tensions announced, they do not hide their winter concerns.

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According to them, part of the problem is to be attributed to the NOME law, which marked a turning point in the opening of the French electricity market to competition. “From 2010, we dissociated the real cost of production and the cost of energy.” For these young agents, the choice is binary: market liberation society or collective interest? A chapter that will certainly give rise to many questions over the next few months.

“Going on strike costs us!”

Employees of La Poste – a network of nearly 800 agents in Haute-Corse – regret that the changes in the group have not had an impact on careers. “We are one of the clubs in France where employees are the worst paid. Today, young people can be hired under the bar of the Smic and certain colleagues with 15 years of seniority still do not arrive at 1,500 euros. “

Surrounded by his colleagues, Julien Perraudin-Devichi enumerates the tasks and gives to imagine behind the scenes evoking the list of objectives requested. The responsibility and the workload increase but for wages, it is the status quo while a postal worker brings in 141,000 euros per year at La Poste, according to the last official audit.

In front of the gates of the prefecture, the voice of a woman is then heard: “SIf we go on strike, it’s because we have to defend ourselves. We, today, it’s 80 euros lost on my salary!”

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One more strike for some, too much effort for others. “For people who have already given a lot it costs”, slips Fabien Mineo who feared a strong demobilization. Also dreaded “resilience” officials. And yet, in National Education with nearly 14% of strikers in the first degree in Corse-du-Sud and 24% in Haute-Corse, teachers have heard the call. Much less in the second degree.

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Also note a lack of interprofessional unity. The absent banners remind us that the professional elections in the public service are approaching.