Let’s rebuild from the business !

by | 2 Jul 2024 | Economy – Social - Tech

In an article published yesterday in Le Monde, the two consultants Antoine Foucher and Jean-Dominique Simonpoli call on unions and companies to “rebuild ties with employees”.

According to them, “among the reasons that led to the RN [National Rally] vote now irrigating all social classes, starting from the working classes to involve a significant part of the intermediate professions and executives in both the public and private sectors, is the question of work“.

I grew up in a working-class town. In the morning, Mom took Dad to the factory by car. She would go and pick him up when the siren announced the lunch break. Same thing in the afternoon. The workers wore caps, the “engineers” and the bosses (we didn’t say “executives”) wore hats. A social distinction that was ultimately quite simple.

Another fault line separated Catholics, who often voted right, from those who were then called “socialo-communists”, even if many Catholics joined the left, Chevènementist or Rocardian.

My father was what was then called a Christian trade unionist, raised on the personalism of Emmanuel Mounier. I think he would have liked me to summarize his “identity” in this way.

Beyond this personal evocation, we are justified in thinking back with nostalgia to this time when humility, solidarity, and benevolence were considered virtues, rather than as a characteristic of a poor guy.

Today, many of our compatriots have become incapable of defining their identity, including within the company. They are then looking for this impossible identity that would identify us with a group to the exclusion of others.

In the world of work, they only rediscover their unions when they are affected individually or collectively by a measure that impacts them, directly, personally (dismissal, sanction, etc.).

As for the power of management, it is monopolized, at least in large French companies, by technocrats from the senior administration who, after having served a few years in the senior civil service, come to help themselves. It is unfair to say that they all think the same: they think of themselves first.

In January 2018, I mentioned here “the behavior of this “meritocratic” ruling class, so convinced of its superiority”. I added: “Initially fascinated by it, I now know that large sections of this “elite” do not have the value they attribute to themselves.”.

The following year, what was still called the ENA at the time no longer asked me to participate in the admissions juries for the competition, but that may have been a coincidence…

What Macronism will take with it in its collapse is still difficult to say. But let’s bet that the popular expression resulting from the early legislative elections will not be without consequences for the life of our companies.

Contrary to what is often stated, the question of sharing added value between labour and capital will not be the essential question, even if the contribution of all to the common effort will be a condition for a return, if not to harmony, at least to our capacity to speak to each other again.

So why not start in the company, yes! With Unions. Without naivety.

Iconography : The business district of La Défense, personal collection