seasonal workers protest mainly against unemployment insurance

The mobilization reaches the mountain tops. The FO and CGT sections of the ski lift and ski area employees went on strike on Monday 23 January. The two unions, the majority within the trade, call for a stoppage of work on 31 January. They thus intend to protest against the new pension reform, but also against the new social security fund for seasonal workers.

The new calculation of unemployment provides a minimum working time of six months out of the last twenty-four to recharge unemployment rights for six months. Previously, four months of work over two years made it possible to benefit from four months of compensation.

“Employees who received €1,200 now have €600”, notes Éric Becker, national secretary of Force Ouvrière (FO) ski lifts and ski areas.

Seasonal workers affected by the pension reform

In addition to the reduction in benefits, this calculation also delays the full retirement of ski area employees whose careers are cut short. Periods not worked are now included in the calculation of allowances. This mathematically lowers the amount of contributions that are taken into account when calculating retirement, the unions complain.

With this unprecedented mobilization, employees are calling on management to better understand theirs “specifications” and their “limitations”, in its calculation of daily allowance. With this new system, “we will no longer find seasonal workers”, fears Éric Becker, while the number of employees at the resort tends to decrease every winter.

“Convergence” of situations

To “convergence” of the two subjects, the unemployment insurance fund and the pension reform, could boost the ski lift employees’ participation in the 31 January strike, which the interdisciplinary organization decided on. This strike notice is “unlimited”because the date of the second mobilization day has not yet been determined.

But the FO boss does not intend to call for other strike periods during the February school holidays. “We are well aware that the situation is not favorable for companies that are affected by energy prices”, he states.

For its part, the CGT, which also filed a renewable strike notice, leaves the choice to the employees to stop work during the month of February. “The strikers choose the terms of the strike”insured on BFMTV Pierre Scholl, CGT national representative of the ski lifts.


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