EPSU delegation joins French health and care unions on strike

The EPSU delegation with CNE and CGST, FNV and ver.di in Paris 14 November 2019

(15 November 2019) The French unions affiliated to EPSU and a large group of professional organisations and other unions organized a national strike in public hospitals, 14 November. The unions are demanding more staff, more investment, higher pay and better conditions to address the crisis in care. An EPSU delegation joined the demonstration in Paris. It showed its solidarity with the demands of the French workers. These are very similar to demands they have and the demands of unions in other European countries. Walking the streets with ten thousands of workers and with demonstrations in other large cities and strikes ongoing in over 260 hospitals the message was loud and clear. The health of workers and patients is in danger. Unions have been active in strikes and other actions since March this year. The French President was forced to react and promised more investment and including in wages.

EPSU sent a letter to the French Minister for health supporting the demands and putting them in light of the commitments made under the EU Pillar of Social Rights. The EPSU delegation included the General Secretary and representatives of Belgian unions CNE and CGSP, the Dutch FNV and German union Verdi. Verdi is involved in many actions for better pay and staffing levels and the Dutch have a national strike in hospitals 20 November.

Background

French President Emmanuel Macron has said his government will invest more than planned in public hospitals, in response to a strike by hospital staff today. The investment would be made by increasing wages of health care workers, as well as improving their working conditions and renewing equipment, Macron said. Macron said that he understood the anger of workers in health and care. “Some care workers have left, others are exhausted, and others have lost their purpose,” he said, adding that the situation was due to years of insufficient investment and increased pressure on hospitals

Politico article (pay wall)

For an article in Le Monde on Macron’s statement

For the joint call to action

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