France's biggest national Union, the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) threatens to rally and strike if Emmanuel Macron refuses to call on the Left-wing alliance, New Popular Front (NFP) to govern. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)


France’s biggest union threatens protests unless Macron paves way for left-wing government


France’s biggest trades union, the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), has threatened national protests if President Emmanuel Macron refuses to call on the left-wing alliance, New Popular Front (NFP) to govern.

On July 10, the railway workers of the CGT urged rallies across France in front of prefectures and the National Assembly on July 18, when the French Parliament is expected to take office, to demand an NFP-led government.

“The CGT and its organisations solemnly call on Emmanuel Macron to respect the results of the ballot box,” the workers stated.

“There is no question of continuing its violent economic and social policies. The new government must be formed as quickly as possible around the New Popular Front programme.”.

The union’s demands were a direct response to Macron’s letter to the French citizens on July 10.

Addressed to French citizens, he said regarding the recent general elections: “In the end, nobody won. No single political force has a sufficient majority, and the blocs or coalitions that have emerged from these elections are all in the minority.”

Macron then urged MPs to come together and propose “a broad political force that meets a series of criteria that would guarantee institutional and national stability”.

“It is in the light of these principles that I will appoint a Prime Minister,” he said.


Sophie Binet, the leader of the CGT, publicly supported the railway workers.

“We must join these gatherings to put the National Assembly under surveillance,” she said on July 11. 

“There must be pressure so that the results of the elections are respected.”

The 42-year-old trade unionist warned that Macron “must be the guarantor of democracy and the ballot box. If Emmanuel Macron does not respect the choice of the ballot box, the country will plunge into chaos”.

According to Binet, the President’s letter was a “source of great anger in the country”.

Phillipe Poutou, the leader of the French radical anti-capitalist party (NPA) also call for mass protests.

“It is still very likely that to obtain a left-wing government pursuing left-wing policies, we will have to push very hard from below, through united mobilisation, demonstrations, strikes. This is our only way of countering the manoeuvres and the hostility of the dominants.” he said on X.

The negotiations to form a government continue on July 11.


Many hard-right and centre-right politicians vowed to overthrow any left-wing government.

Sébastien Chenu MP, National Rally Vice-President, said he would not support such an administration.

“I don’t want a Popular Front government, we will support a vote of no confidence against them if the opportunity arises,” he said on July 10.

“We do not want our country to be destroyed, we do not want the ruin of the economy and the disarmament of our police.”