Activists and trade unionists from the Transnational Social Strike Platform took part in the strikes and mobilizations of the last months in France, in the International Weekend of 7th and 8th of May and in the #GlobalDebout on 15M. Starting from this, we want to deepen the communication on the many threads that connect France with lines of power and insubordination across Europe. We want to take the chance that Place de la République offers as a tool of convergence of the struggles and as a space where we can collectively imagine how to overcome our limits, habits, believes, institutionalized practices, the hierarchies inside and outside the workplaces in order to accumulate power.
We start from a fact: the «loi travail» is not just a national law. It is part of a process of precarization and an attack on labor and rights that is common to the whole European Union and beyond. The Greece austerity package, the Jobs Act in Italy, Hartz IV in Germany, welfare restrictions in UK and Belgium, and many other measures are played out with the same logic: precarity in the EU has become the norm. Also those who have a «better» contract are in danger of being fired, of losing welfare benefits, of becoming poorer and poorer.
Precarity has reached inside the factories, in the schools, in the public service. Precarity is also the condition of those, migrants from inside and outside the EU, risking their permit to stay if they lose their job, and of those who need to pay to the State an alleged debt of welcome with the price of exploitation. The increasing mobility of labor and the transnational organization of production make each space, city, country, workplace inhabited by transnational dynamics. However, while production, employers and anti-labour laws are organized cross-borders, our strategies are still developed around national dynamics.
On a wide scale and with a strong intensity in France it is happening something close to what a social strike is, that is a process able to combine the expression of dissent and insubordination also of those who are excluded from traditional organizations (be it the unions or the social movements), with the question «how to win?», that is how to hit production and to accumulate power.
How to overcome the division between those who have and those who have not the right to strike? How to turn the strike into a political weapon that can be used by many subjects throughout society? What are the subject we need to fight with in order to spread the movement of the strike throughout all society? How can we strike back across borders? These are the questions that brought us to the creation of the Platform for the Transnational Social Strike, that is an open process, a space of experimentation triggered by a common goal: the organization of a transnational social strike. This is meant as our guiding torch inside the dispersion of the struggles and to overcome the lack of communication between segments of labor. We see what is happening in France as a step forward in this direction.
The assembly is understood as an exchange of experiences and tactics on what has already been done, in France and elsewhere, as a discussion on how to use the Transnational Social Strike Platform to support the French mobilization and as an occasion of confrontation on how to go on, how to think together the opposition to the loi travail and its world, inside and beyond France. We are interested in discussing how to overcome the national differences, finding new paths of convergence also across the borders, in front of the similarities of the loi travail with many other labor reforms around Europe enforced in the last years and the power exercised by the transnational production chains. We will start raising a few crucial questions: can we find common demands or common key points that can be the basis of a transnational collaboration? How to combine the pace of the present needs of escalation with a more long term perspective of convergence? How to consolidate what has been conquered in terms of mobilization of society?
Saturday, 11th June, starting from 12pm, @Place de la République