Philippe Martinez, the leader of the hardline CGT union, conceded during his January 11 meeting with the AAPA that he had failed to prevent President Macron’s labour law reform.  But he vowed to continue fighting tooth and nail to prevent France becoming more like Britain – in his eyes a land of zero-hours contracts, diminishing workers’ rights, and official contempt for the unemployed.

Asked if he thought that Mr Macron was hoping to emulate Margaret Thatcher in her epic battle with Britain’s unions in the 1980s, Mr Martinez replied: “His aim is to eliminate the unions…. He takes his inspiration from that model (Thatcher’s model)… His is a policy of repression of unions.” But he recognised that the CGT, faced with falling membership, will have to ‘modernise a little, given that the world of work has changed” with the advent of Uber type firms and the digital economy.

-Rory Mulholland