Social and Economic Council looks to change Union Monopoly.

The priority accorded to five french trade unions: CGT, CFDT, FO, CFE-CGC et CFTC is under threat as the Economic and Social Council recommends changing the system.

Since 1966 these five unions are the only ones allowed to negotiate collective agreements at all levels, name union representatives in organisations and nominate candidates for the first rounds of professional elections. Other unions, like Unsa for example, can only compete is certain organisations or professions (for example Unsa police recently won the police professional elections.) Independent unions are excluded from the major interprofessional elections.

The two largest unions: CFDT and CGT are broadly in favour of this plan as they have the most to gain. The three smaller unions fear that, due to their smaller size, they may lose the right to national representation and that they may consequently lose members. Independent unions such as Solidaires and Unsa feel that they will also benefit, Unsa for example 10% of French union members belong to Unsa.

FO (Force Ouvriere, Workers' Power) have denounced the 'democratisation' of union representation, claiming that this will lead to unions jostling for publicity rather than fighting for their members interest.

The employers unions Medef and CGPME have also denounced the reforms, believing that they will lead to an end to collective bargaining, whilst UPA, which represents mostly small-businesses has welcomed the move.

Posted By

jef costello
Nov 29 2006 21:40


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