May 1 in Caen: 1,500 to 2,000 demonstrators to defend workers around the world

May 1 in Caen: 1,500 to 2,000 demonstrators to defend workers around the world
May 1 in Caen: 1,500 to 2,000 demonstrators to defend workers around the world

By Matthew Girard
Published on

May 1, 24 at 1:04 p.m.

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In 2023, a Labor Day historic event had brought together 800,000 to 2 million demonstrators in France, depending on the sources. This Wednesday, May 1, 2024, promised to be much calmer. 215 gatherings were planned in all of France, including four in Calvados.

The government’s “bad moves”

In Caen, the inter-union (CGT, CFDT, FO, UNSA, FSU, Solidaires) had arranged to meet at 10:30 a.m., Place Saint-Pierre. If the very strong mobilization of last year had acted as a last stand against a pension reform already adopted (March 20, 2023, Editor’s note), that of 2024 is envisaged as a new start.

It is an important meeting in the sense that we need to express our demands, even if we do not wait until May 1 to do so. Today we face a disastrous situation.

Allan Bertu, general secretary of the CGT of Calvados

The trade unionist denounces the multiplication of “ bad blows against the world of work “. He quotes, pell-mell, “30 billion in additional austerity in the state budget, a reform of the labor market, a new labor law in preparation…”

Between 1,500 and 2,000 demonstrators in Caen

He evokes a need to “raise our heads to build mobilizations on salary issues”. And in the urban area, some are already getting active: “We have social movements in call centers, at Webhelp for example, but also in the medico-social sector. »

In the procession, they are between 1,500 and 2,000 demonstrators who marched through the streets of Caen.

“The workers are angry”

In the ranks of the demonstrators, the Attal government is taking its place. “We undergo attacks of all kinds, on pensions or unemployment insurance », assures Christophe Garcia, candidate for Workers’ Struggle in the European elections.

Workers are angry, faced with purchasing power difficulties and inflation. This muted anger must serve to push back the employers and the Prime Minister.

Christophe Garcia, Workers’ Struggle

“Education is anything but a national priority”

On the front line in the face of multiple reforms, Cécile Douay, a teacher in a college in Lisieux, does not hide her fed up.

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We mobilized against the reform of the clash of knowledge which wants to sort students according to their level. And we have just learned of reductions in resources for the end of the year.

Cécile Douay, teacher in a college in Lisieux

She notices, day after day, that education is “anything but a national priority”.

There were many defenders of the Palestinian cause in the procession. ©Mathieu Girard

The Palestinian cause on the front line

Another subject was particularly highlighted during this event: Palestinian cause. What connection with the world of work will you tell me?

May 1 is International Workers’ Day, and we are for the solidarity of workers around the world, because they are the ones taking to the front lines, whether in Palestine or Ukraine.

Bérangère Lareymie, activist in the New Anti-Capitalist Party

Nina Charlier from the Palestine Solidarity Collective of Calvados follows suit. “It is completely justified that we are here. We stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers, especially those who died: doctors, journalists, teachers, etc. We say stop! »

This long-time activist regrets being “ostracized by political powers, and sometimes by the press”. This Saturday, May 4, 2024, she will demonstrate again for the Palestinian cause in the city center of Caen. For the 30th time…

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