Massive demonstrations, blocked railway lines, occupied universities:
the French youth succeeded with it’s energetic protests against the
CPE to launch the issue of precarity into the mass media. Only months
ago, youth in the /banlieues/ made their situation public, with
action methods that were no less confronting. In the Netherland the
term precarity is unknown. Precarity, or “precarité” in French,
refers to unstable and insecure work and living conditions that have
become more and more dominant in our “flexible” society.
Meanwhile, social movements from around the continent have made the
topic subject of their daily political practice. On the 1^st of May,
Mayday, twenty European cities will be the site of Euromayday parades
and protests of temp/net/flex workers and migrants against precarity,
for flexicurity and citizenship. They allude to the rise of new
social subjects, Brain- and Chainworkers, and the /precariat/ as a
new, fragmented proletariat. In the Netherlands, flexibility has been
the reality for years: contract are generally temporary, rarely
permanent and never for life – and no trade union that is still
opposed to that. Work and income have become more insecure, while
everyone still has fixed basic expenses, that aren’t flexible at all.
With the new privatised care system and a rise in rents coming up, it
looks like precarity threatens to become the norm for more and more
people in the Netherlands as well.
Is the unrest in France representative for the situation in the
Netherlands and the rest of Europe, or is it a local reality? Is
precarity an issue, and if so, what are the consequences for our
thinking about work, life and politics? Do the trade unions still
have any role to play? And can’t flexibilised labour relations offer
the possibility of a more autonomous lifestyle?
On the 1st of May, Labour Day, de Balie will host a discussion on
these questions and more. With spoken columns, film, debate and
reports of the Euromayday parades.
Anne Querrien (French sociologist and urbanist, editor of Multitudes)
Rutger Groot Wassink (Historian)
Eddy Stam (Organiser with FNV bondgenoten)
Organising the Unorganizable (32 min, VS 2004)
Entrance | free
Start | 20.00 hours
Language | English - Dutch