A dramatic change at the CGT: the head of the Federation of Executives (Ugict) Sophie Binet was elected general secretary of the CGT on Friday, after Philippe Martinez, thus becoming the first woman at the head of the union since its creation in 1895, with the heavy burden of picking up the pieces internally, in the midst of a battle over pension reform.
Sophie Binet, 41, is a former member of the Unef student union, of the PS and former senior education adviser (CPE). She has been leading Ugict since 2018.
Coming from the Confederal Executive Commission, the extended management of the CGT, she was a referent of the mixed women's collective and committed to environmental issues and gender equality.
The new management team was presented to the delegates on Friday, with in particular the election to the strategic post of administrator, of the leader of the CGT railwaymen Laurent Brun.
During her first speech in her new role, Ms. Binet lifted the veil on the meeting between Elisabeth Borne and the unions scheduled for next week at Matignon.
“The united intersyndicale” will meet the Prime Minister on April 5, at the invitation of the government, “to demand the withdrawal of the reform” from pensions, she thundered from the podium.
She however said the opposition of the CGT to the hypothesis of a "mediation" in accordance with an "appeal" voted Thursday evening at the congress, which distances itself from this idea carried by the inter-union and approved by Philippe Martinez Tuesday .
Traveling to Nièvre, Ms. Borne was delighted with the response from the inter-union.
"I am listening and I am delighted that the inter-union responds to my invitation", declared the head of government, also judging that the accession of Ms. Binet to the head of the confederation was "good news for all the women".
This election comes at the end of a night of negotiations during which none of the two candidates hitherto considered, Marie Buisson, the runner-up to outgoing secretary general Philippe Martinez, and Céline Verzeletti, have not managed to reach a consensus on their name.
It closes a week of stormy congresses, reflecting the deep fractures of the CGT and the distrust of many organizations vis-à-vis the outgoing management, in the forefront of which several powerful industrial federations (railway workers, energy, chemistry).
The Confederal Executive Commission (CEC), the extended direction of the CGT, began its work around 11:00 p.m. Thursday. Marie Buisson put on the table a proposal for a management team, with herself as general secretary. But this proposal was rejected by the National Confederal Committee, the party parliament.
The 66 members of the CEC met again and reflected on a solution around Céline Verzeletti, without reaching an agreement.
A "third way" then emerged, around Ms. Binet, whose name had been mentioned in recent months, but without appearing as a solid option.
Congress kicked off in a tense atmosphere on Monday, with around 20 members of the trade federation forcing their way into the debating chamber to protest that they could not sit there.
On Tuesday, the delegates rejected the activity report of the outgoing management (50.32% of the votes against), an unprecedented event in the history of the CGT and a major disavowal for Philippe Martinez and his runner-up.
The debates on the orientation document showed the disagreements between the cégétistes on the links of the CGT with the unions which are close to it (FSU and Solidaires), on ecology or even on international questions - some still ask that the CGT joined the World Federation of Trade Unions (WSF) which it left in 1995.
A particularly acute point of tension, the question of the CGT's membership of the "Never again that" collective, which it co-founded in March 2020 with NGOs and associations, including Greenpeace and Oxfam, and where Marie Buisson represented the CGT .
Thursday evening, a vote going in the direction of an exit from the CGT of this collective sounded like an alarm signal for the outgoing management.
In the end, the orientation document was adopted with 72.79%, a score higher than that of the Dijon congress in 2019, according to Laurent Indrusiak, of the orientation document commission. The management had taken care to smooth the edges on the most divisive aspects of the document.
03/31/2023 13:46:52 - Cournon-d'Auvergne (France) (AFP) - © 2023 AFP