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Marne: Anthony Smith, a labor inspector sanctioned during the Covid-19 pandemic, recounts his struggle in a book

This is the story of a struggle that lasted 918 days. In the case of Anthony Smith, a labor inspector from the Marne, the fight was so loud that it earned him a case that bears his name. In April 2020, as France went into lockdown due to the Covid crisis and faced a mask shortage, Anthony Smith, under the leadership of a union representative, supervised a home care association that he reported was putting its staff at risk.

A few weeks later he was fired by Muriel Penicault, then minister of labor. Her successor, Elisabeth Borne, the current Prime Minister, turned this dismissal into an automatic transfer to Melun, in the Seine-et-Marne, only to finally retreat, appointing her to a post in the Meuse, 1 hour 30 minutes from her home in Reims.

“Day after day everything was shut down, my computer, I no longer had access to my email, we have to look at the conditions under which all this was done,” says Anthony Smith bitterly. On September 28, 2020, this trade union activist asked the Nancy court to overturn his sentence. Released on October 20, 2022, with the support of a public rapporteur who demanded the lifting of the sanction, considering it “disproportionate given the low seriousness of the alleged facts”, as well as a committee of active support, which included rebel MPs Matilda Pano and Caroline Fiat, Anthony Smith. will return to his position in Reims in January 2023.

A book in support of social struggle

After 918 days of legal proceedings, administrative proceedings and mental exhaustion, this former Unef member, now a CGT student, now says he is comfortable in his trainers and points to the “Orwellian” nature of government services. , the “machine” from which it was freed. “I am a public servant serving the general interest, but I am not a serf,” he asserts firmly.

Hand in hand with his editor Marie-Pierre Vieux (Arcane 17 edition), whom he met at the Unef shops, they decided to tell this story “so that it would not be erased” in a book that will be published this September. 7. “This is a story based on facts, but it is also a call to find a united left, a call for social struggles to finally lead to popular victories, a labor code that respects working people,” states Anthony Smith.

A story of redress that allows those who have been “socially uplifted through work” to move forward with peace of mind, without forgetting. Regarding the consequences that the work could have upon receipt, in the context of the exercise of its functions, Anthony Smith states: “If I had been afraid, I would not have done everything I did. I only did my job. »

918 Days, the Labor Inspector’s Struggle, Anthony Smith with Marie-Pierre Vieux (Édition Arcane 17), 180 pp, €15.

Source: Le Parisien

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