The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Island of Guadeloupe:
EDF-PEI Strikers Win

Mar 6, 2023

This article is translated from the March 3 issue #2848 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group of that name active in France.

The workers of electric company EDF-PEI returned to work victoriously on February 17 after 61 days on strike. One particular gain they won is that the company has to make temporary workers permanent and let them keep their seniority.

Shift rotations will also be reorganized to cut the long work weeks. Workers also won a bonus covering their commutes and a hardship bonus because of the temperature in the factory. It’s a total of almost 600,000 dollars for these 160 production workers.

The workers calculated this amount at $53,000 per employee to settle all accounts of what management owed them for the last eight years. Management hasn’t set up the account, but the workers intend to sue about it.

The strike was a material and moral success. The strikers came out invigorated. Their solidarity was strong, despite the pressure, in part, of public opinion. Residents who lost electricity were targets of the bosses’ propaganda. The bosses sang the old familiar tune about strikers “taking the population hostage.” The official press did not hesitate to parrot the bosses’ complaints, which were sometimes echoed by elements among the population.

But the strikers held firm and were supported by a section of the workers and also by unions. The bosses’ side couldn’t march their henchmen out on the picket lines to intimidate the strikers, which they tried to do. The strikers’ morale and determination were mightier.