Unions: Frederic Souillot to succeed Yves Veyrier at the head of Force Ouvriere

FO will seek to project unity after the stormy 2018 congress of Lille, which saw Jean-Claude Mailly, the secretary general, being booed and then his departure six months later by Pascal Pavageau, his successor.

Unions: Frederic Souillot to succeed Yves Veyrier at the head of Force Ouvriere

FO will seek to project unity after the stormy 2018 congress of Lille, which saw Jean-Claude Mailly, the secretary general, being booed and then his departure six months later by Pascal Pavageau, his successor. This was following revelations of a file about the leaders of the union.

Veyrier stated on Wednesday that he believes Congress will be united and determined.

Around 3,000 people are expected to attend the Parc des Expositions, Rouen. After the Congress' formal close, the National Confederal Committee will elect the Secretary General (CCN), which is the "parliament” of FO. It brings together representatives from the federations as well as departmental unions.

2018 saw Mr. Veyrier (representative of the "reformist") current of FO face two candidates, Christian Grolier, (representatives the "Trotskyists"), and Patrice Clos, (anarchists).

Two candidates are running this time: Frederic Souillot (current Confederal Secretary to Organization and Legal Affairs), 54 years old; and Mr. Grolier (56 years old), boss of the powerful General Federation of Civil Servants. .

Jean-Claude Mailly supports Mr. Souillot from the federation for metallurgy as a reformist.

Some anarchists would support Mr. Grolier this time, after he narrowly missed 2018's election. Patrice Clos, the head of the transport federation, stated this Friday to AFP. According to some, strategic considerations have priority over ideological coherence.

Both sides seem to agree that the victory of Mr. Souillot is not up for debate, which could prompt Mr. Grolier's withdrawal next week.

Fabrice Lerestif, anarchist, signed a text with ten union officials. It expressed concern about FO's "declination" and called for a statutory overhaul. The "silent majority" is "currently excluded" from the administration of confederation. He points out that the CCN vote, which gathers "the great voters of FO", is sometimes far away from the demands made by the base.

His opponents criticize his line, which is too conciliatory with power and lacks embodiment. "Given his professional history, it is difficult to imagine him in the mandate as Secretary General," said Mr. Grolier to journalists in April. He pointed out the lack of experience in "files, the press, discussions at Matignon" by M. Souillot.

Frederic Souillot will be elected "without speaking" and he believes he will organise things to last as long as possible.

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