France: Yellow Jackets and labour movement at a crossroads - Social and political questions
Publisher: Europe Solidaire Sans Frontieres
Date Written: 05/01/2019
Year Published: 2019
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23283
A brief look at the Yellow Vests in 2018. Though they may have their problems they provide a possiblity of change outside the electoral system.
The emergence of the Yellow Jackets was first and foremost an expression of the rejection of tax injustice, crystallized in the rejection of the new fuel tax, which everyone has since understood was intended only to finance the compensation in the 2019 budget for employer social security contribution exemptions.
The mobilization of the Yellow Jackets is not an expression of marginality, of social disintegration. On the contrary, the vast majority of people at the roundabouts are wage-workers, because behind the smoke curtain of the "middle class" category, 60% of public and private employees earn less than 2,000 euros net per month. Single-parent families are particularly affected, and this is one of the reasons for the very high proportion of women among the Yellow Jackets.
It is neither a single-issue movement nor that of a particular group of employees in a region or profession. Tax increases have been the detonator across the country for those who live in the same areas and often share previous social ties. Social networks and media coverage through the major news channels did the rest.