Blue helmet internally, heavy helmet outside his organization. Since she was propelled to the head of the CGT, two and a half months ago, Sophie Binet sometimes plays the peacekeeper, sometimes the warrior who gives no quarter. Within her union, shaken – until recently – by fratricidal quarrels, she practices cuddle therapy and openness, with a management that has been extended to four new members, Thursday, June 15. On the social battlefields, she unceremoniously knocks the “rogue bosses” and Emmanuel Macron, “the president of chaos”. The method seems to be producing results: for the moment, there is no more mutiny in the Confederal liner and strong winds are boosting the morale of the crew.
We were expecting a woman, but it wasn’t Sophie Binet. Two other of his comrades coveted the chair of secretary generalon the occasion of the 53e central congress, which was held from March 27 to 31 in Clermont-Ferrand. On one side there was Marie Buisson, supported by Philippe Martinez, the outgoing number one. In the other corner of the ring: Céline Verzeletti, the rebel who had the support of senior officers very critical of the national leadership hitherto in place. In the end, neither of them managed to impose themselves, in the face of divided voters. A void had just opened up into which Sophie Binet dived: in the early morning of March 31, after a night of hypertensive negotiations, his name emerged as a unifying solution.
The worst had been avoided, at the cost of a big bang. Never, in the history of the CGT, had a woman taken the reins. Never, either (in any case since 1919), had this responsibility been entrusted to a personality who had previously joined the Socialist Party (PS), whereas his predecessors had, at one time or another, their card with the French Communist (PCF). Never, finally, the position of grand helmsman had been igned to a luminary of the General Union of Engineers, Executives and Technicians (Ugict-CGT), an organization then headed by Sophie Binet. A real upheaval for the confederation, steeped in working-cl culture and whose successive leaders were metalworkers, boilermakers, railway workers, etc.
“A feeling of well-being”
As soon as she took office, she igned herself a double mission: ” gather “ And ” to struggle against “as she hammered in closing the 53e Congress. From the month of April, she visits comrades presented as the toughest in the union. We see her alongside Olivier Mateu, the rough leader of the departmental union of Bouches-du-Rhône. She speaks in Paris with representatives of the trade federation, another component cataloged among the most abrasive. She also travels to the Gardanne thermal power plant, not far from Marseille, where an industrial conversion project is defended by the CGT-energy – a structure which gave Philippe Martinez a hard time when he was the boss. So much for the “re-establish the links” operation.
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