Christian Porta is a CGT delegate in the French city of Moselle, on the border with Germany and Luxembourg. He works in an industrial bakery owned by the agri-food giant InVivo, which accuses him of “moral harassment” of the company’s leaders and for that reason illegally fired him.

Porta’s case is of such magnitude that it reached the chamber of deputies, where representative Charlotte Leduc, of the center-left party Insoumise France and representative of the Moselle region declared that Porta is a “victim of a totally crazy union repression” and took aim at the French Minister of Labor Catherine Vautrin asking: What is she going to do to defend union rights and force rogue employers to comply with the law?

The case is really a scandal. Christian Porta was fired on April 23 by the management of InVivo, the large French agri-food group that bought the Folschviller industrial bakery. At the request of the CGT, the Labor Inspection opposed the dismissal, refuting the employers’ arguments point by point, but the latter went ahead and confirmed the dismissal of the delegate.

Not only that, but the company initiated legal action before the Ministry of Labor to have the decision of the Labor Inspection annulled. Meanwhile, with court rulings in his favor and an order for reinstatement in his company, Porta was summoned by the gendarmerie to be interrogated this Tuesday.

Dorothée Unterberger, general secretary of the CGT in the Trade Union of Agricultural and Forestry Workers (USTAF), declared to the media Humanity that it seems “incredible” that the delegate has been summoned by the gendarmerie, “when it is the company that does not respect legal decisions.”

The interrogation to which the gendarmerie subjected Porta was eminently political. In the words of the delegate, “the questions they asked me seemed to be written by my boss, who is mobilizing the gendarmerie to attack me for my union work, which is perfectly legal, as demonstrated by all the court rulings for months.” They asked him why he opposed the company’s plans and why he threatened to take her to court.

It is not Porta who does that, he is the visible face of a union organization that defends the rights of French workers. As Porta himself explains in another article “That is my role, and that is what my colleagues chose me for.” And he adds that he obtained 74% of the votes in the last elections and 73% in the previous ones. He must be doing something right.

But of course you are not alone in the fight. This Tuesday he received the support of representatives of the CGT Labor Inspection, the CGT Fnaf and the UD CGT 57 who reaffirmed his solidarity and commitment and accompanied him during the interrogation. He also received the support of political parties such as the aforementioned France Insoumisethe French Communist Party and Permanent Revolution, part of the International Network La Izquierda Diario.

Even the French League for the Defense of Human Rights took up the case of “a CGT union delegate fired by a multinational against the criteria of the labor inspection and defying 3 court rulings” and urged the Ministry of Labor to “react to this worrying measure”

In addition to her intervention at the congress, Charlotte Leduc was present at the event and said that “The repression against Christian has repercussions throughout France. We are witnessing an increase in union repression on all issues, I think of his CGT colleague sentenced to a year in suspended prison for his support for Palestine.”

He was talking about Anasse Kazib, who faces a legal process and was sentenced to suspended prison for being a great defender of the Palestinian cause.

As Porta insists, all of this is clearly a persecution. “They have even accused me of making a political statement in the company, all because, following the tradition of the CGT, our union supports Palestine, Kanaky or campaigns in favor of women’s rights.” But, in addition, it was a clear act of intimidation against Neuhauser’s CGT, known for its fighting spirit and the union conquests it has achieved in the company, which explains the popularity of the union.

Faced with this serious attack on union freedoms, Christian Porta left the meeting denouncing the involvement of the gendarmerie in the intimidation campaign orchestrated by the management of InVivo and its HR Director, Sébastien Graff: “Today, the gendarmerie told me that It was neutral. But they took my fingerprints, not my boss, even though he had been reported to the courts. The gendarmerie comes to my door in the morning and threatens to arrest me, when there is no material evidence to justify it. That is the neutrality of the gendarmerie: even if the courts say that I must be reinstated to my job, the gendarmerie is always on the side of the company, verifying the identity of staff representatives who enter the plant and blocking strikers. , while they have never done it with the management.”

Such is the criminalization of union activity that the prosecutor even had to intervene to prevent the police from arresting the delegate as planned, in a completely illegal maneuver.

But Christian Porta, as he himself stated repeatedly, is not going to give in.


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