T.O. Weekly Supplement: France, the 2022 National Elections, and the POID Campaigns

The ORGANIZER Weekly Newsletter

Supplement to Issue No. 63 – May 31, 2022

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“For a government at the service of working people – a government without Macron or bosses!”


1)      Macron in the Minority, Macron Illegitimate!: POID Communiqué on the April 24 Presidential Election

2)      POID Electoral Platform: The time has come for a government at the service of working people!

3)   POID Letter to Jean-Luc Mélenchon and to the Leaders of La France Insoumise (France Unbowed)

4)    Excerpts from Daniel Gluckstein’s Closing Speech at the May 21 Rally of the Democratic Independent Workers Party (POID) of France

5)    La Tribune des Travailleurs (Workers Tribune) Issue No. 341  –  May 25, 2022  –  Editorial: Support the Workers of the Seine-Saint-Denis Département Council: Not One Extra Minute of Working Time, Not One Day Less Day of Leave!

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May 21 POID election campaign rally in Paris


POID Communiqué on the April 24 Presidential Election

[Introductory Note by The Organizer: Following is the statement issued by the Democratic Independent Workers Party of France (POID) immediately after the second round of the French presidential election on April 24.]

Macron, who has been “elected,” is in the minority in France.

Three out of five registered voters refused to vote for him on April 24. Even more voters rejected his policies, since a large proportion of his electors only acted to block the road to the far right.

Two weeks earlier, in the first round of elections, Macron had already been rejected by 80% of registered voters, particularly among the working class and the youth, as a result of the anti-labor, anti-social and anti-democratic policies he has been pursuing for the past five years.

Macron owes his “election” on 24 April to:

– the anti-democratic institutions of the Fifth Republic, which reduce the right to vote to the nomination of the person who settles in the Elysée Palace to exercise all power in the service of the capitalist class;

– the call of most of the leaders of the Left and the Right to vote for him, in the wake of the unanimous March 19, 2020 vote of the deputies that gave 343 billion euros to the capitalists; and of the vote of the French “left-wing” deputies in the European Parliament, alongside those of the right wing, to intensify the war effort and to make the people bear the consequences.

From the point of view of democracy, i.e., the law of the majority, Macron is illegitimate.

The record abstention rate on April 24 indicates that the majority of the people refused to see a vote for Macron as the defense of democracy.

The defense of democracy means that the working class and the youth organize themselves to defend their rights and their demands.

Weakened by this election, Macron will, no doubt, appeal to the organizations representing the interests of the working class, to associate them with the plans demanded by the capitalists, in particular on retirement pensions and purchasing power.

To counter this, the workers and the youth will use their independent action to fight for demands, in particular for a general increase in wages and pensions and the indexing of these to inflation, for the freezing of all prices of basic foodstuffs, energy and rent, and the rejection of any reform of the pension system that would extend the retirement age. And, more generally, they will put forward demands that will enable us to meet the urgent needs of education, healthcare and public services.

The satisfaction of these demands will suppose not being afraid of tapping into the more than 600 billion euros given, over two years, by Macron and the deputies to the capitalists (who have never made such flourishing profits), and of calling into question the war budgets that the government – at NATO’s orders – is constantly increasing.

Beyond that, the triumph of democracy requires an end to governments and institutions that serve the small minority who live off the exploitation of other people’s labor. The triumph of democracy means a government and institutions of the majority, those who have only their own labor to live on. To make such a government possible, the POID calls on you to join its ranks.

Our slogans are clear: unity of the workers’ ranks in complete class independence, no compromising with Macron, no national union, no co-habitation with this minority president!

This is what the candidates of the Independent Democratic Workers Party (POID) will defend in the June national legislative elections in 115 electoral constituencies throughout the country.

—    Montreuil, France, April 24, 2022

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2)    POID ELECTORAL PLATFORM (for nationwide legislative elections)

One of 115 campaign leaflets, featuring different candidates but same campaign statement

The time has come for a government at the service of working people!

[Introductory Note by The Organizer: Following is the electoral platform of the 115 candidates that the Democratic Independent Workers Party of France (POID) is running for office in the June 12 national legislative elections in France. 8.1 million copies of this platform were printed and distributed through official electoral channels to voters across France.]

The time has come for a government determined to take the immediate measures that the situation calls for:

– the freezing of the prices of everyday consumer goods, energy and rents;

– the general increase of salaries, social minima and pensions, and their indexation on prices;

– a ban on layoffs;

– the immediate recruitment of the tens of thousands of staff needed in the national education system and in hospitals;

– a plan to renovate and build hundreds of thousands of social housing units to respond to the dramatic situation of millions of poorly housed people;

– the return to the public sector of privatized or suppressed public services; etc.

The time has come for a government of the working people that will not hesitate to take the funds from where they are: from the 607 billion euros offered to the capitalists in the last two years; from the 160 billion in profits made in 2021 (a record!) by the CAC 40 companies; from the enormous war budget which is still swelling.

The formation of such a government is the only way to establish the power of the majority: this is true democracy!

Five years of Macron has meant five years of disaster in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, universities, five years of poverty and misery, five years of repression and challenges to freedoms, five years of mass layoffs and counter-reforms that hit pensions, status, rights.

It also has meant five years of struggle of workers and young people against these attacks. Through the massive abstention in the presidential election, the people have expressed their rejection of the Fifth Republic, whose successive governments, both right and left, have all defended the same capitalist interests and have all submitted to the directives of the European Union. The people have expressed their demand for a government guided by the interests of the majority.

The coalition of several “left” parties around the “People’s Union” is determined to win the national legislative elections [in June 2022] so that Jean-Luc Mélenchon will be appointed by Macron as Prime Minister of a co-habitation government. Is this a path of rupture with the capitalists and their undemocratic institutions?

Workers should remember the Chirac-Jospin co-habitation government, of which the French Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Greens and Jean-Luc Mélenchon himself were members. From 1997 to 2002, this government broke all records for privatizations and committed France to the NATO war in Afghanistan. Its two leaders, Chirac and Jospin, signed together the European plan of attack against pension schemes.

Closer to home, there was the unanimous vote on March 19, 2020 in the National Assembly of 343 billion euros for the capitalists; and the votes on March 1 and April 7 of this year by which all the “left” French deputies in the European Parliament supported the increasing intervention of NATO in the war in Eastern Europe and the sacrifices imposed on “their” people in the name of the war.

Can one fight Macron and his policies and govern with him?

We have to choose: either a government of co-habitation submitted to the institutions which renounces to break with the capitalists; or a government of rupture which takes emergency measures, does not hesitate to confiscate money where it is and to take on the Fifth Republic and the European Union.

Workers, you know from experience, you can only count on your own strength. Yesterday, the conquests of the working class and of democracy were won by the action of millions.

Tomorrow, through your strikes and mobilizations led by you, united with your unions in support of your demands, you will impose a historic change of direction. This movement will repeal the anti-democratic Fifth Republic. It will open the way to a sovereign Constituent Assembly in which the delegates of the people will define what a true democracy should be in its political form and in its social content. From this movement will emerge the government of the working people, of the majority and of democracy.

To prepare for the fight, get organized with the Independent Democratic Workers Party (POID)!

To follow every week the discussions among workers and militants of all tendencies, read the Workers Tribune, a newspaper at the service of the class struggle.

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“Capitalism carries war in it like the cloud carries the storm.” (Jean Jaurès)

As a supporter of a Workers’ International, the POID calls for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and NATO troops from Europe and the dissolution of NATO, which is an imperialist military alliance. It calls for the immediate withdrawal of French troops from Africa.

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No to “double standards”!

Faithful to the French Revolution, which granted asylum to those fleeing tyranny and oppression, the POID stands for the dignified reception of all those fleeing wars and misery and condemns the “double standard” which welcomes refugees from Ukraine and hunts down and represses the others.

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3)   POID Letter to Jean-Luc Mélenchon and to the Leaders of La France Insoumise (France Unbowed)

[Introductory Note by The Organizer: Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a leader of La France Insoumise (LFI), or France Unbowed, came in third place in the recent French presidential election, closely behind Marine Le Pen. He is now heading a new electoral front for the upcoming (June 12 and 19) legislative elections: the NUPES (Nouvelle Union Populaire Ecologique et Sociale), or New Popular, Ecological and Social Union, more widely known as the People’s Union. Mélenchon is promising voters that if this new electoral alliance wins a majority of seats in the National Assembly, the equivalent of the U.S. House of Representatives, this will compel President Emmanuel Macron to nominate him as his prime minister. Of course, in France the prime minister is nominated by the president and not be the National Assembly, so it is highly improbable that Mélenchon could become prime minister. Mélenchon, however, is insisting that he would become prime minister and is pledging in advance that he would not challenge Macron’s presidency or the institutions of the Fifth Republic and that he would participate in a “government of co-habitation” with Macron, much like Socialist Party leader Leonel Jospin participated in a government of co-habitation with then President Jacques Chirac from 1997 to 2002, serving as Chirac’s prime minister. Following is the Open Letter to Mélenchon by the POID leadership. It was sent on April 21, that is, three days before the second round of the presidential election, which was won by Emmanuel Macron.]


April 21, 2022


We have taken note of the letters sent by La France Insoumise to the French Communist Party, to Europe Écologie-Les Verts and to the NPA in order to lay the foundations of an electoral front for the upcoming legislative elections. This letter was not intended for us, which is logical: You know our disagreement with the People’s Union program, which is meant to be the basis of your coalition’s platform. You are aware of our disagreements with the unanimous vote in which the deputies of La France Insoumise participated on March 19, 2020, granting 343 billion euros to capitalists and speculators, and the vote of the deputies of La France Insoumise in the European Parliament on March 1 and April 7 approving the military escalation in Eastern Europe.

The purpose of this letter is not to seek an agreement for the next legislative elections.

However, we are not indifferent to the discussion opened by your statements. … We heard Jean-Luc Mélenchon declare, “I am asking the French people to elect me Prime Minister. I ask them to elect me Prime Minister to elect a majority of unbowed and People’s Union deputies.”

On Sunday, April 24, the Fifth Republic will have a new president, after a second round in which, as a consequence of the division [on the Left on the first round], there is no candidate claiming to defend the interests of the workers. In this context, would it matter whether the Prime Minister is Jean-Luc Mélenchon or not?

The solution most favorable to the interests of workers is the one that will allow at least a certain number of measures to be taken in their interests. Can a government led by La France Insoumise, in the context of the Fifth Republic, achieve this? “Elect me Prime Minister,” Jean-Luc Mélenchon proposes to the voters. Jean-Luc Mélenchon knows – and we all know – that under the Fifth Republic (which we all want to see abolished), it is the President of the Republic who is elected by universal suffrage and not the Prime Minister. As the Constitution requires, it is the President who concentrates in his hands most of the powers and who appoints the Prime Minister whose prerogatives are constitutionally limited. In short, the Prime Minister and his government are under the control of the President.

However, we understand that with this formulation Jean-Luc Mélenchon wants to say: “We seek to govern on our program.” This statement deserves to be taken seriously. The program of La France Insoumise is not ours. But surely even a start on implementing that program would mark a difference from what another government would do.

Therefore, our concern – shared by a large number of workers, activists, young people of all tendencies – can be summarized as follows: Are you ready to give yourself all the means to apply, or at least to start applying, your program?

In the terrible situation in which blows are being dealt to workers, working-class families and youth today, what are needed are emergency measures, starting with the total freezing of all prices of everyday consumer goods, fuel and rents in the face of galloping inflation and the immediate raising of all salaries, pensions and minimum social benefits.

Faced with the imminence of a catastrophic start to the school year in September 2022, this implies the immediate release of all the means to appoint tens of thousands of teachers and staff so as to re-establish the conditions for a normal schooling of the young generation and to repeal the destructive counter-reforms of the baccalaureate, Parcoursup. …

Faced with the other disaster that is the hospital situation, this implies releasing without delay the means to hire the 100,000 necessary care personnel, to reopen without delay the closed beds and services in the hospitals.

It is also urgent to repeal the destructive counter-reforms and, to begin with, to preserve the pension systems by opposing, at the very least, any extension of the retirement age.

For this, we must not hesitate to implement the measures needed to fund these programs, in particular among the hundreds of billions distributed to the capitalists for the last two years under the pretext of the fight against the pandemic, but which did nothing of the sort.

It is also urgent that France leaves the military command of NATO, in a process of disengagement from this military alliance at the service of U.S. imperialism.

All these measures are present either in the program of La France Insoumise, or in the latest proposals formulated by Jean-Luc Mélenchon or other leaders of your movement. Our approach is not to ask you to implement any other program but your own. It is important in the interest of working people to know if you intend to give yourself the means to implement your program without delay.

It is on this point that ambiguities must be cleared up. We have heard Quatennens’ demand for a co-habitation. History teaches us what co-habitation means. The only government under the Fifth Republic that saw a left-wing Prime Minister co-habiting with a right-wing President was, from 1997 to 2002, the Chirac-Jospin government (which included many socialist, Green and communist ministers…).

This was the first government to implement the Juppé plan to destroy Social Security [the national single-payer healthcare system – tr. Note], against which millions of workers had gone on strike and demonstrated with the unions a year earlier, a plan which all the leaders of the left had sworn they would struggle for it to be withdrawn. This government also went down in history as the one that privatized the most in the entire Fifth Republic. It was also the government that decided on France’s participation in the NATO military intervention in Afghanistan. The Chirac-Jospin co-habitation, on a constitutional level, was very respectful of the rules of the Fifth Republic; on a social, economic and political level, it was marked by a regressive policy that had nothing to envy to what would have been a policy of a right-wing government.

Co-habitation implies subordinating oneself to the institutions of the Fifth Republic and to the necessary agreement with a president elected on a program of social regression and who intends to ensure its application. Or is it your intention, from the point of view of the democracy you claim to espouse, to consider that having received a majority mandate from the people in the legislative elections, you have the right and the duty to implement your program?

In this case, it is likely that the president elected on a contradictory program will try to oppose it by invoking the rules of the Fifth Republic. In this case, the key question will be: Who is in charge? Will your position then be to reject these diktats and immediately begin the process of convening the election to a sovereign Constituent Assembly through which the people will define the social content and political forms of a genuine democracy, sweeping away the presidentialist monarchy? If this is the case, you will be led, we are convinced, to call for the mobilization of millions and millions of workers and young people to allow democracy to prevail over all the resistances that reaction will not fail to put up.

We are convinced that the workers and the youth will then mobilize for these goals. Be assured that the Independent Democratic Workers’ Party, for its part, will know how to take its part in the struggle to impose, if not a complete break with the capitalist order, at least the first measures on the way to the break. Without, however, giving up our own political program of struggle for a government of workers and democracy, for socialism.

We hope that you will clarify your position on this essential question: Either co-habit and submit to the rules of the Fifth Republic, which give the pre-eminence of power to a President and to the capitalist reaction which brought him to power; or assume the mandate of the majority, the democratic mandate which you are asking for, not hesitating to commit yourself to the path of rupture in order to apply your own program.

Our approach has no polemical character. If there is a possibility of promoting a break in the interests of the workers and the youth, a first step challenging the continuity of the previous governments, the POID will assume its responsibilities.

We will be attentive to the answer that you will give to these questions.

Receive comrades, our fraternal greetings.

Montreuil, April 21, 2022

The National Office of the Independent Democratic Workers Party (POID)

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4)    Excerpts from Daniel Gluckstein’s Closing Speech at the May 21 Rally of the Democratic Independent Workers Party (POID) of France

Daniel Gluckstein (seated at center of podium) chairs the May 21 rally

[Introductory Note by The Organizer: On May 21, a campaign rally for members and supporters of the POID in the Paris region was held, with over 1,000 people in attendance. Similar POID campaign rallies were held in five other regions and in scores of cities and towns across France. Daniel Gluckstein, co-national secretary of the POID, gave the closing speech to the Paris rally. Following are brief excerpts from his speech.]

The possibility of a Mélenchon government is not likely because the new electoral front established by Mélenchon’s France Unbowed, the NUPES, is calling for a government of co-habitation with Macron and because their program does not call for a break with the institutions of the Fifth Republic. But this possibility cannot be ruled out.

To those who say, “We [the NUPES] are going to win a majority of seats in the National Assembly, we’re going to be the majority,” we say, “Fine, take power.” Take power to enact the measures that the population awaits and needs desperately. Earmark the $26 billion that will save the younger generation and public education. Earmark the billions needed to restore the health-care system and provide young people with a real job and a real salary!

The question is not, as we are told constantly, whether there is the money to enact these urgently needed measures. There is more than enough money: This country is rich; the capitalists are making huge profits. The only question is which government will have the audacity, the determination, and the will to respond to the demands of the working-class majority, even if it means committing itself to the path of breaking with the capitalists and their institutions.

It’s one of two things: Either there is a government without Macron and the bosses that implements the measures that the people are awaiting and that confiscates the billions that Macron handed to the bosses – or there is a government which, like the Jospin-Chirac co-habitation government [1997-2002], will attack the workers. It is one or the other.

If a Mélenchon-Roussel [1] government is formed, without Macron and the bosses, calling for a break with the institutions of the Fifth Republic, we will support it provided that it implements the measures needed to defend working people and the oppressed – because we do not have interests distinct from those of the working-class majority.

Whatever the outcome of the elections, one thing is certain: Nothing has ever been achieved, neither in this country nor anywhere else, by the “miracle” of an election. Nothing has ever been achieved except by the mobilization of millions of people fighting for their rights and their demands.

This is why we are engaged in the struggles that have been highlighted here at this rally. That is why we are running 115 candidates to the National Assembly across France, formulating the necessity of a government of the working-class majority – not of the minority of exploiters.

We have nothing to promise except one thing: helping to organize the fightback of the working class and the youth, to help them understand what is happening politically in France and internationally — and to help organize the workers for their own emancipation and the youth for their own liberation. Let’s get organized. Join us in this effort.


[1] Fabien Roussel is the national secretary of the French Communist Party.

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POID membership meeting

5)    La Tribune des Travailleurs (Workers Tribune) Issue No. 341  –  May 25, 2022  –  Editorial

Exceptionally, we are publishing as our editorial a statement by the Seine-Saint-Denis POID which addresses a question that concerns workers throughout France.

Support the Workers of the Seine-Saint-Denis Département Council: Not One Extra Minute of Working Time, Not One Day Less Day of Leave!

On May 16 and again on the 23rd, 350 to 400 workers of the Seine-Saint-Denis département council r[1] joined forces with their trade unions to express their refusal to have the Dussopt Law imposed on them. In effect, their employer – the département management – wants to apply this law introduced by the Macron government which increases annual working hours while eliminating up to 25 days leave without salary compensation.

Who are these workers? They are the people who ensure that secondary school buildings and département buildings are maintained, the people who work in public nurseries, in maternal and infant care centres, and social welfare offices. In all, 8,000 workers, most of whom are paid minimum wage or just above that.

Coming from Dussopt, Macron’s minister [2], this attack is logical: as far as they are concerned, it is about “reducing public spending” as they put it, by cutting hundreds of civil service jobs in order to gift even more billions to the capitalists.

But this is Seine-Saint-Denis. The employer against whom the département civil servants are mobilizing is the département management composed of elected representatives of the Socialist Party, Communist Party, France Unbowed and Europe Ecology-The Greens.

It is against this employer that on June 3 – the date when the technical committee will meet to decide on the plan to extend working time – the staff will be on strike in response to the call by their unions and will say: “Not one extra minute of working time, not one less day of leave!”

Every component part of the département majority supports the New Popular, Ecological and Social Union (NUPES) the electoral coalition led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his candidates standing in Seine-Saint-Denis in the legislative elections [on June 12 and 19]. The workers are entitled to put them on notice, as the statement below affirms:

“Candidates Soumya Bourouaha, Raquel Garrido, Fatiha Kelouha-Hachi, Aurélie Trouvé, Nadege Abomangoli, Clementine Autain, and candidates Eric Coquerel, Stephane Peu, Thomas Portes, Bastien Lachaud, Alexis Corbiere and Jerome Legavre:

“You say that you want to break with Macron’s policy as dictated by the capitalists. If this is the case, don’t wait: now is the time, right now, when you can and must break with Macron and Dussopt. Demand of your party comrades who are in charge of administering the département, and who – like you – represent the NUPES, that they purely and simply withdraw their plan. That they withdraw it from the agenda for the June 3 meeting of the département technical committee! That they withdraw it once and for all!”

The fact is that you cannot promise to break with Macron’s policy tomorrow if you agree to relay it today. Either you side with an employer who wants to increase the exploitation of workers, or you side with the workers’ camp as they take strike action against their employer.

The Democratic Independent Workers Party (POID) gives its total support to the striking workers, and with them demands: “No application of the Dussopt Law, not one extra minute of working time, not one less day of leave!”

The Seine-Saint-Denis POID Committee

May 24, 2022

[1] Translator’s note: The Seine-Saint-Denis département is located north-east of Paris. A département is an administrative political unit roughly equivalent to a province or county. There are 96 départements in metropolitan France, which today are grouped together to form 18 département units, plus 5 overseas départements, which are also classified as regions.

[2] Translator’s note: Olivier Dussopt served as Macron’s Minister of Public Accounts from 2017, and replaced Elisabeth Borne as Labour Minister on May 20, 2022.

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