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This is an old idea, which periodically returns. This Thursday, the member of parliament (LREM) Aurelian Tache has advanced a "track" to strengthen the social

Does it make union membership mandatory? The Republic on think about it

This is an old idea, which periodically returns. This Thursday, the member of parliament (LREM) Aurelian Tache has advanced a "track" to strengthen the social

Does it make union membership mandatory? The Republic on think about it

This is an old idea, which periodically returns. This Thursday, the member of parliament (LREM) Aurelian Tache has advanced a "track" to strengthen the social dialogue and to respond to the "yellow vests". For the parliamentary, the great national debate that must be completed in the next month must give "a new impetus to the democracy". To do this, elected in Val d'oise is proposing to make to the trade union organisations a central place in the social dialogue: "the trade unions can be an important solution" to re-establish the links between the executive and the population, he says.

" READ ALSO - Unionism compulsory: "a runway" for the "yellow vests" (Stained)

There is a catch, however: the representativeness of trade union organisations is now marginal and declining in the Hexagon, and the rate of unionization French, established with only 11% of all employees, is among the lowest in Europe. For Aurelian Tache, two tracks could be dug to alleviate this problem and restore the desire for workers to adhere to these intermediate bodies: on the one hand, "rethinking the mission of the unions" in their offering "to help in the daily life of the people", for example in the housing or the transportation ; and on the other hand, to think of the "organising compulsory".

"This is a discussion within the group LREM", explains the member of the Figaro . He said to have been commissioned by the chairman of the group at the Meeting, Gilles, The Son-in-law, along with other elected officials to reflect on the ways of 'starting participatory democracy in France, by reinventing the role and position of intermediaries". In this context, no track is set aside to support "the renewal of trade unionism": for example, limit the benefits obtained by unions for their members, as in Sweden, or expand their mission to offer a more systematic way of "advice, and professional development" to their members.

The trade unions mixed

The tracks made by the elected face, however, is the skepticism of the first concerned. National secretary of the CFDT, Beatrice Ict joined the claims of the mp on the necessary revival of trade unionism, but disapproves of the advanced methods. "We can think about incentives to give additional reasons to unionize", but the CFDT is not in favour of an obligation of the union membership. Same sound of bell on the side of Force ouvrière (FO): its secretary-general, Yves Veyrier, expresses his "surprise" to see the majority lean on this issue, fearing a form of political interference in the trade union movement. "The principle of freedom of association is a fundamental norm, and as soon as one makes this mandatory, there is a danger of democracy", does he: a union membership mandatory is therefore not through his eyes, to the extent that it would undermine "the principle of republican equality" and "freedom to unionize or not."

" READ ALSO - The French less and less unionized.

The two representatives believe that the government and the majority should begin by showing the example by ceasing "to stigmatize the trade unionism and the trade union demands". The bottom of the problem will be settled by the unions themselves: "this is not up to the government to settle the question of unionization, their role is to allow the freedom of negotiation and the social dialogue", said Yves Veyrier. FO as the CFDT will show, however, quite open to the idea of strengthening the trade unionism of service, for example by offering legal advice to their members. "We already offer services, but if the government wants to help us to develop it, why not," says Beatrice Ict.

To a trade unionism of service?

Make union membership mandatory is not a new idea: it is an old sea serpent, which surface from time to time, explains the researcher at the IAE of Paris Sorbonne, Rémi Bourguignon. It was for example put forward by Ségolène Royal, then a candidate in the presidential election, in 2006. "This suggestion meets the free rider problem, well known to the trade unionism, which pushes people to wait for other commit to their place rather than do it themselves". Following a model belgian or scandinavian (as in Sweden or Denmark), unionization is not actually mandatory, but will give rise to benefits that are concrete and measurable for the employee, which would, therefore, have everything to gain by joining an organization. For the teacher, this idea would however be against the model in place in France, where the branch level negotiations and company-level agreements extend to all employees, unionized or non-unionized. France is thus in a paradoxical situation, where the unionization rate is still very low, but with a rate of union coverage, i.e. the share of employees covered by a trade-union agreement, more than 90%.

" READ ALSO - Raymond Soubie: "The problem is the attractiveness of trade unions and employers"

The researcher shows him also dubious about the changes proposed by Aurélien Stained. First, the union membership compulsory is not desired by the organizations themselves: "the trade unions want to people who voluntarily commit themselves. Recruit on the basis of the obligation would the design activist trade unionism, and would mean the arrival of those little invested in the trade unions, that they do not wish", he explains. In addition, make union membership mandatory would potentially lead to the appearance of multiple smaller unions, in which the employees find themselves more than in the historical structures such as the CGT or the CFDT. This would lead to a burst of trade-union and, in fine , to the weakening of the intermediate bodies. "The essential question remains whether the people forced to join unions would then be militants active within these structures," says the researcher, who believes that such a transformation would represent a "disruption extremely heavy" on the system in place.

Historian specializing in the social dialogue and the trade unions, Stéphane Sirot reaches the same conclusion: "I would be surprised that the ideas of Aurelian Tache receive the assent of the majority of the organizations", admits the historian, who recalls that the trade unionism in French is built on the notion of activism, active engagement, on the contrary, systems of the north. "We should rethink our mode of operation and ensure that the collective agreements do not cover all employees but only the union members," an idea difficult to be accepted by public opinion. The author of several typicalowers, books on the history of trade unionism doubt that the employees, as organisations wish to move from a trade-unionism of struggle to a trade unionism of service: "certain structures, such as the CFDT, try good year, bad year, to develop a trade unionism of service to provide benefits, such as legal counsel, to their activists. So far, I am not sure that minds are ripe in France for the emergence of this new form of commitment on the model of the nordic countries, both in the unionized and the unions".

Publish Date : 04 Mart 2019 Pazartesi 00:00

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