Monday, December 16, 2019

Another Day of Protest in France

Another  day of protest by the unions has been planned for Tuesday, December 17.

Romain, a nurse at the emergency room of the University Hospital of Saint-Étienne (Loire), will be out marching on the streets next Tuesday.
"I didn’t know much about this protest until the last few months, but the health system has really broken down this year," he told France 24, "We had a sudden deterioration in our working conditions on the one hand, and in the care for the patients on the other.”
“We have reached a new low with patients being forced to stay for hours or even days on stretchers. Some of them have died because of this, it's intolerable."
During the summer, Romain learnt of a patient at the hospital who spent five days on a stretcher without ever getting as far as a bed in a room before he went home.
"We are no longer able to give the care that we should. It is like being working on a factory line," says Romain. "The technical and human resources are insufficient to treat our patients with dignity."
Protests by Romain and his colleagues will be on two levels. "We will do everything to defend the public hospital and its values, and we will also come together with our comrades who are in other professional corporations to share their demands for better work conditions. We believe that their demands are in line with what we are asking for. This is in everyone's interest.
Jérémy, a teacher in a college in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine (Seine-Saint-Denis), has been working for eleven years.  He has been on strike since December 5 against the pension reform, a "completely unfair" proposal, according to him. He will be part of the protest on December 17.

"This is not just about pensions, there is also a real discontent in the national education system, whether it is teachers, cleaning staff, administrative staff or school nurses," says Jeremy. He claims that conditions have been deteriorating since he started in the profession.
Grievances across France seem to be numerous and growing. And they will all be coming together for December 17.
"Speaking with colleagues who are firefighters, railway workers, teachers... we all agree on a central point, this is the destruction of the French social system," says Romain. "On Tuesday, the demonstration will be to show solidarity between the different professions and to come together to defend our demands."

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