BALLAST • The world of laborious

January 27, 2022
Texte inédit pour le site de Ballast

Through the voice of a grotesque enarque and former senior executive, the Ministry of Industry rented, recently, "the magic of the workshop where we do not distinguish the framework of the worker".Eric Louis's blood has only one trick.It is that this former rodist of the Somme, "worker, son of a worker, grandson of workers", knows what he really returns."It's been a year since I work continuously.One year of factory.Nine months of sheet metal in the oily electric radiator scrap.Three months in the aluminum of scaffolding.With his experience, he responds in our columns to the Minister Delegate.

« J’aime l’industrie parce que c’est l’un des rares endroits au XXIe siècle où l’on trouve encore de la magie.The magic of the workshop where one does not distinguish the framework of the worker, where one does not distinguish the apprentice from the one who has thirty years of experience, where one does not distinguish the one who isBorn in France forty years ago and the one who arrived by the accident of a life a few days ago.»»

These words are not mine, rest assured.They were held, daring, should I say, on October 7 by the Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Relaunch, in charge of industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

In mid-2021, in my thirty (little) glorious, as a premonitory and anticipated response to this trait of genius, evoking my job of the moment, I wrote this: "We are not in a Standing Start-up here.The workers wear blue blouses.On those of hires, the company logo.On that of the temporary workers, that slab.The chefs wear green blouses, it's practical, we see them arriving from afar.The women's women wear blouses of a dapper orange.The director is the only one to wear a tie.An old -fashioned director.I could believe myself transported 35 years back, to this slight detail: everyone, without exception, from morning to night, wear a mask.And then executives and administrative staff contort in strange as well as ridiculous gymnastics: activate the door handles with the forearms.No doubt, we are in 2021.»»

We are quite far from the angelist and egalitarian vision of the Minister. Mais peut-être étais-je tom­bé dans une entre­prise à la traîne, arc-bou­tée sur des prin­cipes échus, nos­tal­gique d’une image sur­an­née de l’industrie du XXe siècle. Une boîte « vin­tage»» en quelque sorte.Highlighting the old relationships of domination and subordination which obviously no longer are used today.

In early October, in order to complete a year of work, I hire in another industrial business.This nests in a huge modern building.It is one of the leaders on the market for the manufacture of aluminum light ladders and scaffolding. Pardon, la concep­tion et la réa­li­sa­tion de « pro­duits Solutions d’Accès Universel»», nuance. L’entreprise du XXIe siècle m’ouvre ses portes… On va voir ce qu’on va voir !

« La magie de l’atelier où l’on ne dis­tingue pas le cadre de l’ouvrier, on ne dis­tingue pas l’apprenti de celui qui a trente ans d’expérience»», qu’elle disait.

After a few days in this box, I identify the executives, the maintenance agents, the methods of the methods, the workers of production hired and finally the temporary workers.Would I have a gift that makes me able to have these different statutes recognized?A sixth sense?On the contrary, I even rather have the low view.And a fucking lazy that holds me back to the ophthalmologist.

So what ?

[Stéphane Burlot]

The executives, first cities, easily recognize themselves by their high -end orange high -visibility jacket.Flocked with the name of the company in the back, as well as the motto of the house.It contrasts with the yellow or grimy orange vests and worn to the rope that we are forced to wear to get parts at the other end of the factory.

Maintenance agents are dressed by the box.Gray pants and jacket with red facing.

BALLAST • Le monde des laborieux

Same thing for methods, but the facings are orange.

The production workers hired, in addition to a sad and resigned air, wear a gray and blue outfit.

The temporary workers?Well the temporary workers come with their own clothes.It's pretty disparate.Risingly raising, some even carry t-shirts or polars marked by the name of their ETT (temporary work company).

Sorry, Agnès.I would have so much wanted to abound in your luminous words ...

Beyond this visible aspect of things, I noted a few crisp details confirming that business life is a constantly renewed experience.An incomparable observation post.An inexhaustible source of reflection.

Passage obliged by safety training.We are fifteen temporary workers around the large table in the meeting room, upstairs.There are the air -conditioned offices, far from the crash of the workshop.This is the first and last time that we will put our feet.The presentation purrs.Only a few additional measures due to the COVID come to break the monotony of the exercise.I almost fall asleep.At one point, the QSE (Quality Safety Environment, yes the lady merges with her function, by a sort of entrepreneurial transubstantiation) loose: "Well, we cannot force you to park in reverse, the parking lot isNot to us, it belongs to the community of communes.»» C’est donc le contri­buable qui a finan­cé la construc­tion du par­king.And who has been maintaining it for ten years.My town is part of this com ’of Com’.And as the first deputy mayor, I regularly attend community councils.The controversies around the chronic deficit of the budget of this local community regularly return.This small gift, as well as others, were the price to pay not to see this historic company from the corner being established on a neighboring territory during the construction of its new premises, in 2012.Decentralization, launched in the 1980s, is also, it is above all, the competition of territories.

Second obligatory passage, the collective visit of the workshop under the aegis of the production manager.There too, routine and boredom. Le gars réclame du « savoir-être»».Why not.Explains the break times: "A first of 20 minutes, a second of 10 minutes.»» Il s’avérera que la seconde pause dure 15 minutes, en fait.When you are in production, with quotas to respect, 5 minutes, it counts.He forgets to tell us that these break times are not paid.I had worked for this box, in its old buildings on its historic site, in 1995.At the time, as in all companies under the collective metallurgy agreement, the breaks were not deducted from the salary.35 minutes a day, almost 3 hours a week, that's what we lost in a few years.In the name of job maintenance.

Of precarious employment, gets along.Every Thursday, the assignments are displayed on the table for the following week.On December 3, the workforce is divided into as follows: 55 temporary workers, 56 permanent contracts.

And we are made to feel that we are temporary workers, with weekly contracts.

It's been two days since I work there, and already I hear the magic formula that all temporary workers takes in the face sooner or later.The simple and fluid formula of simplified and fluidified management in the extreme.She comes from one of the chefs: "... if not, it's the end of the mission.»» Ici, la menace de la rup­ture du contrat de tra­vail, sanc­tion ultime dans le monde du tra­vail, ne vient pas au terme d’un dia­logue, d’avertissements res­tés lettre morte.He arrives in the preamble to any dialogue.Arbitrary cleaner and without appeal, putting me at the mercy of a manager.

[Stéphane Burlot]

It must be said that I flouted a point of the regulation largely deserving this threat.Hiring at 5 am, I start to work with a fleece on my back.Yes, I know, I'm a little chocohotte.The activity warming me, I remove it and put it on a box next to me.It’s strictly prohibited!

In truth, I don't give a damn about his threat.I look at the guy with an extinguished eye without answering.But what is an impact on a worker who has a rent to pay, kids to eat, a car to be repaid, the diesel tank to fill (to come and have to work), and who has just found a mission after months ofunemployment ?

Other little joyers brighten up my stay. Un des petits chefs, sym­pa­thique au demeu­rant, évoque les four­ni­tures qui « dis­pa­raissent»», et les maté­riels dété­rio­rés : « C’est simple, on va le rete­nir sur votre paie»». Derrière mon masque, je mar­monne pour moi-même : « C’est illé­gal ça, mon gars»».Either the guy has a bionic ear or my gaze betrayed me. Il se reprend : « Enfin, on va le fac­tu­rer à votre boîte d’intérim»».

If the wages were still satisfactory.When I had worked in this box, they were.It paid almost correctly.Today is the reign of the minimum wage.Even if the factory has joined a group which employs 1,115 employees on 10 production sites, which generates 175 million euros in turnover.

When I read my salary sheet I understand this bias: the exemption from social contributions on low wages.On my October pay, this employers' lightening amounts to 465.65 euros.Remains at my employer 281.15 euros to pay.While my employee contributions amount to 367.26 euros!Of course, this concerns my temporary box.But this exemption benefits the factory, which is invoiced in proportion to wages paid.

Thus, out of the 55 temporary workers identified above, it is therefore 25,610 euros that do not enter the funds of social organizations each month.Or more than 300,000 euros per year for this production site alone.Are these 300,000 euros lost for everyone?Fortunately not.They are warm in the shareholders' pockets. Ceux-là ont du « savoir-être»» !

The same skills that drives Béatrice employers.

Béatrice is a smiling and pleasant fifties.She hires at 5 am, as a cleaning lady.Employee of an external company.The years of labor increased him, slowed down.But it is always open and enthusiastic.After a few hours of cleaning, she leaves the factory.When I am afternoon, I don't see it.These weeks, leaving at 8:30 p.m., I pass the medical house.The lights are on.However, the employees returned home.Behind the glass door, a familiar silhouette.I have time to recognize it, I am on a bike.It's Béatrice.Applied and lonely, she cleanses, aspire, lava ...

I think that at 5 am, she was already doing the same thing, at the factory.Such amplitude of work, for a pay that I imagine misery.

This is my last week of work in this box.My colleague Simon having left for other professional horizons, Benjamin is assistant to me.Very quickly, immediately, a bond settled.His little eagerness to work meets mine.His anecdotes on his jobs on the go are added to mine.He has resumed employment, victim of a Pôle Emploi control brigade.Little Kapos of Unemployment.Better to jump on the first mission that came to risk radiation.Or to be paid to the 3 reasonable job offers.Those that cannot be refused.

I let him unwind his harsh and lucid criticism of work.Delight.A invigorating libertarian air comes out of his mouth.The speech is not so common.Rarely if constructed. En point d’orgue, il me demande : « D’ailleurs, tu connais l’origine du mot tra­vail ?»» Du tac au tac je réponds : « Oui, ça vient du latin tri­pa­lium, ins­tru­ment de tor­ture.»» Benjamin me regarde inter­lo­qué."Usually, no one knows that.»»

[Stéphane Burlot]

The irony wants me to meet this comrade in arms a few days to leave this mission.It's been a year since I work continuously.One year of factory.Nine months of sheet metal in the oily electric radiator scrap.Three months in the aluminum of scaffolding.The account is good.The rights to the compensation that I had exhausted, wrung, are again constituted.At this time, I still know neither the amount nor the duration. La nou­velle « réforme»» (com­pre­nez « des­truc­tion»») des allo­ca­tions chô­mage est pas­sée par là.Regardless, December 17 will be my last day of work.Faced with the prospect of building a touch of resistance with Benjamin, I hesitate.In the end, I will not have the strength to extend the experience.Too much await me.Militant actions, struggles.Days in the woods.To plant trees.Be just out.Take advantage of winter.Not the strength to stay locked up longer.Liberty calls me.Resist him would be affirmed.

Too bad.With Benjamin we will surely meet again.The world of laborious is small.

In these disturbed times, we do not often have the opportunity to laugh.So let's leave the conclusion to Agnès: "The pride of working in the company, the pride of working in the factory, so that it is said that when you go on a production line, it's not a punishment, c 'is for your country, it's for magic and that's what you can make possible.»»

Banner and sticker photographs: Stéphane Burlot


☰ Lire notre inter­view avec Gérald le Corre : « On laisse des tra­vailleurs cre­ver au bou­lot !»», juillet 2021 ☰ Lire notre entre­tien « Les acci­dents du tra­vail ne sont pas des faits divers»», juin 2021 ☰ Lire notre témoi­gnage « On veut être res­pec­tés : faire grève en pleine pan­dé­mie»», avril 2020 ☰ Lire notre article « La démo­cra­tie syn­di­cale en action»», Léonard Perrin, mai 2019 ☰ Lire notre témoi­gnage « Nous étions des mains invi­sibles»», juillet 2018 ☰ Lire notre témoi­gnage « À l’u­sine»», juin 2018

Publié le January 27, 2022dans Lutter, TémoignagesparÉric Louis

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