He returned to the front line with the mobilization against the pension reform. CGT leader Philippe Martinez is leading the battle against the government. His personality remains relatively unknown.
It is he who has led the CGT since 2015. He will leave the reins of the union in March 2023. Philippe Martinez is at the head of the mobilization against the pension reform which unites all the unions against it. At 62 – this is still the official retirement age in France – the general secretary of the CGT does not necessarily have a well-known background and personality. La Dépêche reveals some secrets to you about the general secretary of the CGT.
1 – He grew up in a posh suburb
Born in Suresnes in the Paris region in a family of Spanish origin – his grandparents emigrated to France – the young Philippe Martinez grew up in an upscale suburb of western Paris. The family lived in an apartment in a workers’ estate. He attended school in Rueil-Malmaison. His political involvement in the Young Communists dates back to high school. He then joined the Communist Party.
2 – He is a Renault employee
Philippe Martinez is a technician at Renault. A metallurgical worker, he returned to the Boulogne-Billancourt factories in 1982. He was seconded to the CGT in 2008 where he took over as head of the federation of metallurgists. At 62, ironically, Philippe Martinez does not yet have all his quarters to retire at full rate. He wrote to Renault to rejoin the group. He confided in mid-February that the manufacturer had not yet replied to him.
3 – He’s a hard worker
On the 8th floor of the CGT headquarters in Montreuil, Philippe Martinez’s office is awash in piles of files. “Philippe is a very hard worker,” confided his friend Pierre Ferracci, head of the consulting firm Alpha, in the press in 2015. “He likes to thoroughly study his subjects, especially when they are very technical”.
4 – He lives in a modest pavilion
Philippe Martinez lives in a modest pavilion in Villiers-sur-Marne in the Val-de-Marne, “a soulless suburb”, wrote the magazine Capital in 2015. He was driving at that time in an old Renault Scénic.
5 – He is not married
Philippe Martinez is the companion of Nathalie Gamiochipi, former general secretary of the powerful CGT Santé federation. He has two children.
6 – Moustached and proud of it
Impossible to escape it: Philippe Martinez no longer has a lot of hair but he sports an imposing drooping mustache. Younger, Philippe Martinez did not always have a mustache as shown by the archive images of the National Audiovisual Institute.
7 – He never wears a watch
Do not ask Philippe Martinez the time: he never wears a watch, indicated Release in a portrait erected when he arrived at the head of the CGT in 2015. Philippe Martinez never wears ties either.
8 – He is a football fan
Philippe Martinez was registered with the Renault football club. He was one of the pillars. “He played like an old-fashioned number 10”, confided a colleague Raynal Devalloir in 2015. Philippe Martinez supports FC Barcelona.
9 – He likes the songs of Jean Ferrat
What are Philippe Martinez’s tastes? In his portrait in 2015, Release explained that the boss of the CGT likes the songs “La Montagne” and “Le balance” by Jean Ferrat, that he liked the films of Pedro Almodovar and the thrillers of Didier Daeninckx. TF1 news still indicated in 2015 that he enjoys canoeing in the gorges of the Ardèche.
10 – Caricatured with famous look-alikes
Philippe Martinez’s famous mustache is reminiscent of Gérard Jugnot in “Les Bronzés” or Dupond and Dupont in “The Adventures of Tintin”. Look-alikes sometimes used for their resemblance to the general secretary of the CGT.