European Marches Against Unemployment

an ancient event that fills up still some blogs and hearts. What about a revival resp. an upgrade? You may find it:

on mail-archive.com of 23 Apr 1998 – The European Marches Assizes Against Unemployment, Job Insecurity and Social Exclusion, Brussels, 18 and 19 April 1998, Final Motion of the Platform of European Demands against Unemployment, Job Insecurity and Social Exclusion:

We are witnessing the systematic dismantelement of social protection and of public services, linked to dereglementation, and to the precarisation
of jobs and salaries. Throughout Europe, Big Business is on the offensive making full use of both the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties. The struggles of the unemployed men and women have grown and with it increasing demands for the redistribution of wealth. These demands arising out their struggles must be listened to by the economic and political leaders at all levels of the decision making process, including the European Union.

Here are some of the more urgent demands that we have put forward to the unemployed, those in short-term contracts, wage-earners, and European citizens. In order to succeed, these demands need the combined forces of salaried workers and the jobless, in coordonnated joint struggles, that ignore borders:  

  • An income which will allow each and everyone to have a decent standard of living, without discrimination of age, sex or origin, or any other form of discrimination. Profits have never stopped growing, while millions of people in Europe are increasingly living below the poverty line. We demand that everyone has the right to a guaranteed income in relation to the degree of wealth product by society as a whole.
  • An immediate and massive reduction in working hours : for a 35 hour week throughout Europe, decreasing to 32 hours and down to 30 hours per week, with job creation, without loss of salary, or purchasing power, or flexibility or annualisation of working hours. In order to generate jobs, this reduction of working hours must cover all types of businesses, and all economic sectors and must be reinforced by legislative measures and directives which reproduce and represent the results of their struggles.
  • For a massive new jobs that are socially, culturally and ecologically useful with decent salaries and including social gains already acquired.
  • Total opposition to any attempt to introduce workfare, under the cover of “return to work” and total rejection of “employability” because both these measures are a form of coercion to force the unemployed to take jobs with unacceptable working conditions.
  • Total opposition against all forms of precarisation of salaries, whether in the public sector or private sector, total opposition to the imposition of part-time work, to overtime and to sackings.
  • Total opposition of all forms of discrimination which prevent equal access to jobs and salaries to women. This will mean, amongst other things, the development of collective structures, for example the responsibility for looking after very young children.
  • Call for European harmonisation of existing Social Rights and for our demands to be aligned on the most advantageous rights for men and women: … //etc. etc. …

… The struggle against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusion has highlighted the terrible social injustices of a capitalist society where an extreme minority dominates all aspects of life for the sake of the profit motive.

Yes, despite attempts to present the current situation as inevitable, despite calls for patience and submission, we want to convey, via our struggles and our demands, a message of hope and of new perspectives: the Abolition of unemployment, plans for a society based on liberty and social justice, for a Europe and a World where politics and economics are at the service of men and women, rather than the other way round, and where all citizens can participate in major decisions effecting their daily lives.  The European Assizes against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusion. Brussels, Marches Europeennes, 104 rue des Couronnes, 75020 Paris … (full long text on mail-archive.com).

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More Links on European Marches Against Unemployment:

on Euromarches.org, today’s archives (in en, fe, de, nl), a blog against unemployment, job insecurity and exclusions. (Contact).

on Euromarches.org, 1999: … The birth of a social movement: The EU summit in Amsterdam in May 1997 was the rallying point for the series of European marches against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusion, involving up to 5000 people, which had been snaking their way across the continent in the preceding weeks. The resulting demonstration saw 50,000 people march in support of the »Florence Demands« which had been formulated at the outset of the marches. This highpoint was the visible aspect of the embryonic pan-European movement which was beginning to organise itself at grass roots level. The contacts made as a result of the marches were strengthened and formalised and Euromarch as an ongoing organisation was born … (full long text).

on Archives of European Integration (University of Pittsburgh).

on SoulCast.com, Oct 28, 2009: … a lengthly speech including Hegel etc.

on Arbeitslosenselbsthilfe Oldenburg/Germany (6. May 1998): the english report of an event, the NOT OFFICIAL SUMMIT IN CARDIFF.

… and many others on Google Web-search.

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