French Syndicalist News

Solidarity for Comatec Workers

COMATEC is a subsidiary of the "Compagnie de la Generale des Faux," a French multinational. It employs 1200 workers to clean up the Paris metropolitan railway system (RATP). The RATPS's directors currently are trying to impose a speedup on the cleaners so as to cut wages. It particularly involves the imposition by management of a new contract which will cause the loss of many cleaners, jobs.

During the last 2 months, the CNT (French Anarcho-Syndicalist union and affiliate of the International Workers Association) has tried to negotiate an agreement with management to preserve the workers' conditions in the enterprise. In the "Bobigny" station of RATP, there are a lot of problems: equipment disappears and verbal harassment and abuse of the cleaners by the bosses is common. Workers are also being transferred to other sites. Since COMATEC management didn't reply positively to the workers recent log of claims, the CNT organised a strike on April 24th. All workers in the station, except 2-3 people joined the strike and have picketed the station for 4 days (day and night).

The COMATEC management has refused to negotiate and paid a lawyer in order to help outlaw the strike. Subsequently, COMATEC was successful in outlawing the picket and have decided to fire all the strikers. The other unions have refused to help the workers. The CGT (Communist Party controlled union), which in this enterprise is the boss's union, condemned the strikers and asked for some of them to be sacked.

Finally, COMATEC decided to fire 12 workers, all members of the CNT, and also tried to fire 2 CNT delegates. COMATEC wants to hurt the CNT because we are becoming the most respected union amongst the workers. The CNT Regional Union of Paris has organised solidarity action. We have held protest rallies before the COMATEC and RATP head offices in order to protest the firing of the workers. We have also organised the distribution of leaflets about the strike in some establishments cleaned by COMATEC

The CNT Transport Union asks all IWA sections to pressure all subsidiaries of the Compagnie de la Generale des Faux (COMATEC, USP, ONYX,etc..)

You can send a fax to RATP:; COMATEC:; &

Financial solidarity is being organised to assist the striking comrades. You can send to CNT syndicate des Transports: Bank: Societe Generale 005040548092