How to reconcile maintenance of economic activity and compulsory confinement for the majority of the population? It is on this puzzle that the unions and employers should work, gathered this morning at 11 am by the President of the Republic. The meeting, which will take place at a distance, should allow the executive “to exchange with the social partners on the difficulties encountered by employees and companies since the entry into force of the containment measures, to take stock with employees and business leaders on the measures of protection at work against coronavirus and to make known to all stakeholders the assistance measures and devices put in place by the government for companies and employees in the context of the crisis” In addition, the meeting should also discuss the economic impact of confinement, the day after the publication of a first estimate by INSEE.
This new moment of discussion will be an opportunity for union organizations to reiterate their reservations or their frank opposition to the orders presented earlier in the week by the government. The secretary general of FO, Yves Veyrier, thus qualified the derogation from the hours of work in certain sectors considered essential up to 60 hours, instead of 48 currently, of “heresy“:”in these essential sectors, we need to take care of the employees who are mobilized. We risk adding to the risk of epidemic a risk of fatigue, exhaustion by longer working hours and reduced rest timesHe warned.
The unions are also asking the government to clarify the distinction between the essential sectors and the others, in order to shut down all other activities that are not essential to the proper functioning of the country. This Friday, the boss of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, hammered his position: “it is necessary that all those whose activity is not necessary remain at home, and that only those who are essential alone go to work” The union denounces the “paradox»To maintain economic activity while establishing general containment. “In industry, employees still manufacture products that are not essential in the period“He commented, adding that the country did not need to continue manufacturing”boats, planes, cars and lipstick” during this period.
For the CGT, maintaining activity in sectors deemed non-essential has a double negative effect: first, employees going to work put themselves in danger and are not always protected against the risk of contamination; and on the other hand, the need for protective equipment for these workers represents “as many protections less for caregivers” The issue of worker protection remains central, and Muriel Pénicaud, the Minister of Labor, explained putting in place “good practice guidesFor each trade. “Sometimes there are better solutions for certain trades“That masks to protect workers,” she said.
The tone has recently risen between the unions and the government: the CGT Federation of Public Services has thus filed a strike notice covering the whole of April in order to put pressure on the government to obtain protective equipment for workers of the sector. “It is a protective measure against the virus […] Not all public servants will be on strike, but it will allow those who demand protection and have enormous pressure to stay at work to stop work“Explained Philippe Martinez. Secretary of State Olivier Dussopt, for his part, expressed his “regrets“On this mobilization and the Minister of Labor called”everyone’s responsibility“, Triggering the anger of the representative of the Montreuil power station:”government pretends not to understand strike notice“, He launched, denouncing a”controversy […] obnoxiousFrom the executive.