Housekeeper, baker … These faces of the united left who want to “revolutionize” the Assembly

Among its candidates, the “New People’s Ecological and Social Union” has several figures from different social mobilizations. Profiles like Rachel Kéké, a waitress who opposed the Accor hotel group, or Stéphane Ravacley, who went on a hunger strike for her apprentice, then without a residence permit.

Six weeks after the legislative elections, the left gathered behind Jean-Luc Mélenchon and under the banner of the New Ecological and Social Popular Union (Nupes) wants to bring out profiles that are almost absent from the ranks of the National Assembly.

On the occasion of the nomination conference scheduled for this Saturday in Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis), examined three candidates who have a symbolic value. Although their backgrounds differ, they share a desire: to bring topics to the Palais-Bourbon that they consider underrepresented in the political debate.

• Rachel Kéké, the waitress who made Ibis fold

Waitress at the Ibis-Batignolles hotel in Paris, owned by the Accor group, Rachel Kéké crossed swords against her employer to get better working conditions and a pay rise.

After almost 2 years of struggle, the spokesperson for this movement won her cause in May 2021 by obtaining a reduction in the number of rooms to be cleaned, the payment of overtime, lunch breaks and work clothes. Something to give ideas to those close to Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

“It was rebellious France that came to get me and offered to introduce me. At first I was a little reluctant because I’m not a politician. Then I thought about it and told myself that the whole fight we had led was a lot. politician ”, explains the woman who presents herself in the 7th district of Val-de-Marne.

Among the triggers, the housekeeper particularly evokes the struggle waged by the deputy rebel François Ruffin. The former reporter presented a bill in May 2020 to “stop the mistreatment of cleaning women” and increase their pay.

“It was rejected and I tell myself that the Members who voted in this way do not know what we are going through. It makes me want to say a word that we never hear”, assures Rachel Kéké.

In the struggles she intends to defend at the Palais-Bourbon in the event of a victory on 12 and 19 June, the housekeeper cites the improvement of working conditions in retirement homes and more generally in “all the professions in which people abuse women”.

The candidate will notably face Deputy Macronist Jean-Jacques Bridey.

• Stéphane Ravacley, the baker who went on hunger strike for his undocumented apprentice

Stéphane Ravacley and Laye Fodé Traoréiné on January 19, 2021
Stéphane Ravacley and Laye Fodé Traoréiné on 19 January 2021 © SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

Stéphane Ravacley became a small local star in Besançon after his story hit the national media. In January 2021, this baker went on a hunger strike to combat the deportation procedure against his apprentice Laye Fodé Traoréiné. The young man was welcomed as an unaccompanied minor in 2018 but, at the age of 18, he is considered an illegal foreigner. The young man is finally regularized ten days later.

The story had aroused strong emotion, prompting over 200,000 people to sign a petition asking the prefecture to grant them a residence permit, reported in particular by the European MEP Raphaël Glucksman. The socialist senator Jérôme Durain presents a bill that wants to allow foreign apprentices without a residence permit to obtain documents, the craftsman is invited to the National Assembly.

“I heard a lot of nonsense at that moment from some MPs. There I told myself that it was necessary to enter the system”, explains Stéphane Ravacley whose profile is then identified by the PS.

The 50-year-old also swapped Anne Hidalgo during her bout in Besançon last November. Four months later, the day after the Russian offensive in Ukraine, he appealed for donations and transported 25 humanitarian aid trucks to Poland.

“My name was proposed when we started talking about legislative elections and even the college had been frozen by the environmentalists”, further advances the Bisontin who pledged to sit in the EELV group at the Palais-Bourbon in case of victory, without however joining the training of Yannick Jadot.

Those who want to promote unaccompanied minor status will first have to beat Éric Alauzet, the outgoing deputy of the presidential majority, next June.

• Taha Bouhafs, the journalist who wants to “bring young people from the suburbs to the Assembly”

Taha Bouhafs in Paris on February 1, 2020
Taha Bouhafs in Paris on February 1st 2020 © JOEL SAGET / AFP

Taha Bouhafs is make a name for following various social movements such as “Nuit Debout” or the Yellow Vests. The committed journalist was run over by insubordinate France in the Rhone, after having already been nominated with the colors of Jean-Luc Mélenchon in 2017 at the Isère.

“I remained attached to the comrades I met during my struggles and, of course, I was offered to be a candidate again,” explains the 25-year-old.

Anyone who filmed Alexandre Benalla harassing protesters on May 1, 2018 sees his candidacy as an illustration of the lack of representativeness in Parliament.

“I don’t have a certificate, I don’t have a baccalaureate. I did handling, cleaning. I have experienced in my flesh things that not many people in the National Assembly understand ”, she continues, recalling“ the absence of workers, racialized and from the suburbs ”, on the benches of the Palais-Bourbon.

Taha Bouhafs, who sees in his final victory “a real political upheaval for millions of young people”, was identified by the political class after the announcement of his investiture. His critics of him in particular recalled being convicted of public insult in 2020, after treating an “Arab service” police unionist. The reporter has since filed an appeal.

“I find it quite revealing that a young man from the radical Arab left who doesn’t mince words is reduced to this”, he complains, evoking his “disgust and fatigue” for this affair.

The journalist will cross swords with outgoing Renaissance MP (ex-LaREM) Yves Blein, elected to Parliament since 2012.

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