(7 November 2023) October 19 saw hundreds of childcare workers march through the streets of Paris. The National Day of Action was called by several trade unions and other associations under the coalition 'pas de bébé à la consigne' (no toddler in a locker). The Paris demonstration had over 1000 participants with several hundreds joining in Toulouse, Nantes, Clermont-Ferrand and Metz.
The demands of the protesters in France are similar to those of childcare workers in countries across Europe: more staff and clear worker/child ratios to ensure that children are properly taken care of; more and better training; better pay and a proper revaluation of the labour of childcare workers, the majority of whom are low paid women. EPSU was present at the Paris demonstration to show solidarity and raise the point that childcare workers have the same demands across Europe. Other countries - such as Belgium, Spain, Norway and Ireland - have taken or will take similar action for similar reasons.
The issues highlighted by the mobilisation in France have been amplified by the publication of two books about the situation in the sector (‘Babyzness’ and ‘Le prix du berceau’ [‘The Price of the Cradle’]) which highlight the problems of privatisation and how workers in childcare are being squeezed under the for-profit logic.
More information on the Day of Action can be found here