News & Statements

KPTU Statement in Solidarity with Striking French Workers


KPTU Statement in Solidarity with Striking French Workers

Since December 5, French society and the French economy have been close to paralysed by strike actions against the Macron government's pension reforms. Rail and other public transport workers who have d unlimited strike action against not only the pension reforms but also rail restructuring are a leading force in these actions. On behalf of the 230,000 members of the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' Union, we send our solidarity to the French working class and express our support for their demands.

Under the guise of creating a "universal and fair" pension system, the Macron government has put forth reforms that will make all workers work longer, while penalising those with lower wages, and those who have been unemployed or whose careers are interrupted through a point system based on Euros earned. Macron has tried to say public sector workers' specialsed pensions are the reason for reform, and blamed them for the massive opposition. But French workers have demonstrated through their participation in strike actions that they are not fooled and recognise that the pension reform will affect all negatively.

Both France and South Korea have aging populations and at the same time face increasing employment insecurity. This means that both societies are now confronted with the difficult task of creating a social security system that can support all workers throughout their lives fairly. Yet Macron's reforms, which will lower coverage for everyone without reducing inequality, cannot be a real answer.

French railway workers are also opposing Macron's rail reforms, scheduled to come into effect on 1 January 2020. These reforms would not only weaken railway workers' conditions, but also open the railway up to competitive tendering and further outsourcing. We condemn this threat to rail safety and accessibility in the strongest terms.

The KPTU once again expresses our solidarity with French workers and calls on the Macron government to stop its neoliberal reforms immediately and engage in dialogue with trade s to develop real social reforms that will strengthen social protections, public transport and public services for all.

In solidarity,

Junsik Choi
Korean Public Service and Transport Workers&rsquo Union

Sangsu Jo
Korean Rail and Metro Unions Council