In the succession battle at the head of the CGT, Martinez’s protege faces a competing candidacy


Céline Verzeletti on the left of Philippe Martinez during a press conference, August 31, 2016.

Barring a new twist, a woman will take the reins of the CGT in three weeks. But there is now uncertainty about his identity. An additional candidacy has just appeared in broad daylight, in somewhat disconcerting conditions: that of Céline Verzeletti, currently a member of the confederal bureau and co-responsible for the Federal Union of State Trade Unions (UFSE-CGT). She competes with Marie Buisson, the leader of the Federation of Education, Research and Culture (FERC-CGT), which is supported by Philippe Martinez.

For the outgoing secretary general of the central, who had decided to hand over, this is a form of disavowal and defiance, in a context of internal turbulence, while the union is holding its 53e congress from March 27 to 31 in Clermont-Ferrand.

This development was brought to the attention of the public, Wednesday, March 8, in a dispatch from the press agency AEF info. “Yes, more and more organizations are contesting the choice made by Philippe Martinez and would like another secretary general. And yes, some organizations think that I would allow a better gathering within (the CGT) »indicates Mme Verzeletti. Contacted by The worldthe interested party assures that “this is not a declaration of candidacy”. But it recognizes, in essence, that it can represent an alternative, knowing that it is, in fine, the national confederal committee (CCN) – the “parliament” of the union made up of the federations and the departmental unions – which will decide at the end of the congress in Clermont-Ferrand.

Mark of authoritarianism

This episode is not really a surprise. Since the national direction of the CGT propelled, in May 2022, Mme Buisson to replace Mr. Martinez, this decision is disputed within the organization. Many saw in it the mark of authoritarianism, on the part of the current secretary general, with which it would be necessary to break. M’s pedigreeme Buisson is also a problem.

Little known inside the CGT house, she is, moreover, viewed askance because of the key role she played in “Never again”, a collective that the CGT created with defenders of the environment (Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, etc.). Many executives and members, particularly in industry, question this alliance with associations which campaign for an end to nuclear power and a decarbonisation of the economy, likely to jeopardize thousands of jobs.

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