Editorial of the ” World “. This is the story of a union leader who prepares meticulously, eighteen months before, his election and, at the same time, creates the conditions that will lead to his downfall. Elected on the 27th of April, in Lille, at the end of a congress is very violent, the secretary general of Force ouvrière (FO), Pascal Pavageau, who was forced to resign on Wednesday 17 October, has managed a double feat. It was immediately fractured the third confédération française, by leading a tough battle against his predecessor, Jean-Claude Mailly, as he was the only candidate to his succession. He then broke a record in the history of association, the mandate of the shortest, just six months. A crisis reminiscent of that experienced by the CGT when, in January 2015, Thierry Lepaon, the successor to the default of Bernard Thibault, had to throw in the towel following a business involving his lifestyle.

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But the earthquake that hit FO, seventy years after its creation, in 1948, is of a larger magnitude. It is the revelation, the 10 October, by The Canard enchaîné, of the existence of a file, identifying 127 leaders of federations and departmental unions, which set fire to the powder. This document is not confined to targeting support of Mr. Pavageau and the enemies of Mr. Mailly, distinguishing between trotskyists and reformists, he insulted a large number of officers, with terms that are flowery – ” silly “, ” stupid “, ” junk “, “too smart to be in the office confederal” – wrote the sexual orientations or health issues. An incredible and outrageous operation of low police in a union which prides itself on, as recalled by its expanded leadership, on the 17th of October, to defend ” the freedom of thought and individual choice, political, philosophical and religious of each militant “.

“beautiful bullshit”

referring to those documents of the ” stupid and moved, but confidential “, M. Pavageau was discarded on his close collaborators that he has been sacked before you leave, ensuring that he had just asked for a ” memo “, before acknowledging ” a beautiful bullshit “. In his email of resignation, he does not hesitate to speak of a ” cabal “. As leaders of FO, still traumatized by the congress of Lille in April, which had divided the union, have desired its failure, no doubt. But Mr. Pavageau, such as the sprinkler sprinkled, is fully responsible for the crisis he caused. By imposing at its center a rotating very radical, accompanied by a reconciliation with the CGT, sister, enemy, putting themselves de facto out-of-play of ongoing negotiations, it has tarnished its image. And he took the risk of weakening FO sustainably, then it will play, on 6 December, during the elections in the three public functions, its first place among the agents of the State.

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For FO, it is a great leap into the unknown. It is going to have, within one month, elect a new secretary general, who will be obliged to apply the line radical arrested at Lille, even if it will have the concern to mitigate the edges, not to stay away from future reforms of unemployment insurance and pensions. But the alliance of circumstances, to push Mr. Pavageau towards the exit, between the trotskyists and reformists, it will be difficult to resist the regulations of the accounts and the likely twists and turns of this crisis of death. Beyond FO, it is the unionism as a whole, which already suffers from a poor image in public opinion, which will be reached.


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