Mr. Souillot, member of the confederal office since 2015, collected Friday evening 87.68% of the votes cast by the members of the National Confederal Committee (CCN), the “parliament” of FO, bringing together representatives of the federations and departmental unions (77 ,47% of registrants).

Small bittersweet note for the new secretary general: he is “the least well elected” of the twelve members of the confederal office appointed on Friday, according to one of his opponents in Congress, Fabrice Lerestif.

The activity report of the outgoing management had conversely been approved with a score of exceptional magnitude – 98.15% of the votes – as well as the cash report – 98.27%.

The various resolutions, defining the line of FO for the next four years, were also adopted by a large majority during votes by a show of hands on Friday morning.

The future management team will be “carried by the formidable unity, the formidable democratic gathering of the confederation that you have just expressed”, said Mr. Veyrier in the morning, in a brief farewell speech, much applauded by the militants.

The congress, attended by some 3,000 activists, opened on Monday in the suburbs of Rouen.

After the stormy one in Lille in 2018, which had seen the secretary general Jean-Claude Mailly copiously booed, then the departure after six months of his successor Pascal Pavageau after the revelation of the existence of a file on the leaders of the union , FO was keen to project an image of unity.

The bet was generally held, in spite of some dissonant speeches of the circles “pavers” and “anarchists”.

A sign of this desire to unite, Mr. Souillot’s competitor, Christian Grolier, representative of the “Trotskyist” current, had withdrawn his candidacy on Wednesday.

“The battles that await us and the hope that we must give to employees require the broadest possible unity”, justified Mr. Grolier, in a text read from the podium.

– Bronca on the 37.5 years of contribution –

The new secretary general, Frédéric Souillot, is like Mr. Veyrier from the “reformist” current of FO, and benefited like him from the support of some of the “Trotskyists” led by Hubert Raguin.

Mr. Souillot will have to implement the roadmap of FO, focusing in particular on the defense of the “payroll” and the fight against the project of raising the retirement age to 65 years, carried by the president of the Republic Emmanuel Macron.

The constant claim of FO in recent years was the return to 60 years and 37 and a half years of contributions.

The resolution adopted on Friday affirms that the “blocking” of projects to raise the age and lengthen the contribution period “will constitute a step forward in returning to retirement at 60 at the full rate and with a view to returning to 37. 5 years of contribution, by creating the necessary balance of power when the conditions are met”.

A wording deemed too soft by some and which gave rise to one of the rare broncas of the room, Friday morning, when Eric Lecourtois (Departmental Union of Côtes-d’Armor) carried an amendment asking that FO continue to clearly claim the 37 and a half years old.

Mr. Souillot will also have to strive to advance Force Ouvrière compared to the other central trade unions, while professional elections are being held in the public service at the end of the year.

In Le Monde on Sunday, Yves Veyrier said that FO did not “intend to stay on the bottom step of the podium”, behind the CFDT and the CGT.

In 2018, the union had fallen slightly in the public sector (-0.5 point to 18.1%), and in 2021, it remained almost stable in the private sector (-0.36 point to 15.24%) .