Labour: what do trade unions represent in France?


Video length: 3 mins.


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While Labor Day will be celebrated on Sunday May 1, journalist Gilles Papin deciphers, on the 11 p.m. set of Franceinfo Thursday April 28, the role and influence of unions in France in 2022.

On the Franceinfo 11 p.m. set on Thursday April 28, journalist Gilles Papin looks back on the evolution of the unionization rate in France. “In 1949, it was over 40% and then it fell little by little. In ten years, it lost half its rate and from 1968, it stabilized and even rose a little more. the May 68 effect and then the arrival on the labor market of women. But from 1975, it continued to fall and we arrive until 2020: we have a 7.8% unionization rate in 2020”, he says. A figure that contrasts with some European neighbors. Gilles Papin points out that the unionization rate is 50% in Belgium or even 20% in Germany.

To explain this decline, the journalist explains that “Trade unions in France are of totally different ideological conceptions. They are attached to a political philosophy for the most part, which creates a divided and competitive trade unionism”, he explains. Gilles Papin reminds us that you have to obtain at least 8% in professional elections to become a “representative force”. They were five after the last elections: the CFDT, the CGT, FO, the CFE-CGC and the CFTC. “All five have very different lines”adds the journalist.

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