Unemployment insurance: a historic attack passed with the help of “social dialogue”

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The government does not hide it: it is not a reform to help the unemployed, but a reform to help businesses. This Monday, the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, revealed how the government intended to apply the unemployment insurance reform voted on November 15 by the Macronists and the Republicans.

A Full-Line Offensive Against Workers

The main measure is quite simply to reduce by 25% the duration of compensation for the unemployed when “the economic situation is good”. Concretely, when the unemployment rate is considered in the “green period” by the government, the unemployed will see their duration of compensation reduced by 25%, with a minimum of 6 months. When the unemployment rate is considered in “red period”, the system remains the same [1].

Clearly, if today a worker who has just been made redundant is entitled to as many days of compensation as days worked in the last 24-month period, with a maximum of 24 months for those under 53, 30 for those aged 53-54, and 36 for those over 55, these maximums will increase from February to 18 months, 22.5 months and 27 months. A few exceptions have been provided for by the government, in particular for the DOM-TOMs, intermittent entertainment workers, fishermen, dockers and expatriates.

If Bruno Le Maire explained this Monday morning on France Info : “ when things are going better, we tighten the rules, when things are not going so well, on the job front, we protect more », the reality of the text is that of a unilateral hardening of the rules of compensation. This is all the more so since the reform has also tightened the conditions for being considered unemployed.equating in particular the abandonment of post with a resignation.

The objective is clear: to force the unemployed to accept any job, and to put pressure on the world of work at a time when employers are complaining of a supposed “shortage” of workers in various sectors such as catering. This logic is all the clearer since Unédic, the organization responsible for unemployment contributions and benefits, is largely in surplus, with a surplus estimated at 4.2 billion for 2023to which could, according to information from Unédic disclosed by Marianneadd 4.4 billion euros of additional surpluses per year from 2025, and 3.6 by then, thanks to compensation stolen from workers.

Ultimately, this new reform could allow future governments to justify reductions in employers’ unemployment contributions in the name of Unédic’s surpluses – which currently remains in debt to the tune of 60 billion euros, of which 20 billion are linked to the Covid crisis. Penalize the unemployed therefore, to offer new gifts to the bosses…

The trade union leaders support the counter-reform of unemployment insurance: the new scandal of “social dialogue”!

This Monday, the union leaders pretended to denounce a scandalous reform… while participating in the last “consultation session” organized by the Minister of Labor. A decision in line with their attitude on the whole of the reform. From this point of view, the golden palm of hypocrisy goes to the CFDT who announced at the beginning of September that shewould not fall into the trap of the government » before wisely participating in the discussions. For its part, the CGT, had announced on October 17 to refuse the consultations because of the requisitions of the refiners, but a delegation from Montreuil went this Monday morning to the Ministry of Labor.

By launching its counter-reform of unemployment insurance, the government had however left no room for surprise by playing cards on the table since its first announcements. Already known since the beginning of summer in its philosophythe reform did not change an inch after several months of discussions.

In this context, by participating in the “negotiations” opened on October 17, the union leaderships played a key role in supporting this first-rate social offensive. A scandal that shows the role of “social dialogue”, which plays a role of crutch of a government more weakened than ever.

At the same time, the union leaderships remained at gunpoint in the face of a reform which could lead to the compensation of up to 300,000 fewer unemployed workers by 2025 according to Unédic. While the law is now sealed, without a day of mobilization having taken place, it is once again necessary that the workers at the base, the militant unions, whatever their labels, strongly denounce the “dialogue social “.

This is all the more so as two major attacks are looming on which the government intends to “coordinate” to contain any prospect of mobilization: the Immigration Law for which Olivier Dussopt will receive the “social partners” this week and the pension reform.


[1] The two types of periods are defined as follows: the period is considered favorable if unemployment is below 9% or if unemployment has been falling consecutively for three quarters, and there has not been an increase of more than 0.8% unemployment in the last quarter. In the opposite case, that is to say unemployment above 9% or a sudden increase in the unemployment rate of more than 0.8% over the last quarter, things will not change compared to the current rules.

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Unemployment insurance: a historic attack passed with the help of “social dialogue”