• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > France

France: Unions Keep Pressure Against Macron's Pension Reform

  • Demonstration as part of a second day of national strike in Marseille, France, Dec. 10, 2019.

    Demonstration as part of a second day of national strike in Marseille, France, Dec. 10, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 December 2019

The General Confederation of Workers expects the State to solve social security problems by creating jobs and increasing business contributions.

One day before President Emmanuel Macron unveils his pension reform bill, over 1 million citizens Tuesday are actively mobilized in their second nationwide general strike, which takes place throughout France through marches and demonstrations starring workers, teachers, and students.


France: Workers Paralyze Transport to Reject Pension Reform

"I hope Macron hears the social anger that is manifesting even more strongly these days but we have been seeing it for months. He must withdraw his project and seriously discuss the improvement of the pension system, which is one of the best in the world," the General Confederation of Workers (CGT) General-Secretary Philippe Martinez, said.

The union leader acknowledged that the financing of that system does experience some problems; however, he stressed that the French government must make solidarity adjustments, fix the situation by creating more jobs, raise the employers' contributions, and increase wages.

The CGT leader also announced that workers' organizations will decide on Tuesday night how the protest will continue in the next days.

In Paris, thousands of citizens of all ages marched from the Garden of the Invalids to the Denfert-Rocheareau square.

The meme reads, "College and high school students join the strike. In the city of Lille, college and high school students blocked various schools on Tuesday before joining the demonstration against the pension reform project."

"Everyone hates becoming vulnerable" and "Institutes on strike" were the slogans that echoed more in the voices of students and teachers, who showed more vividly and strongly their rejection of a pension reform which put "the drop that spills the glass."

"We have the feeling that they drown us more every day. This is not only about retirement. This is a shout against the worsening of public services, working conditions, crowded classrooms, and students overwhelmed by poverty," the Paris University professor Creteil Charlene Dupont said.

All over France, public transportation remained virtually paralyzed. According to the national railway company SNCF, only 20 percent of its trains were running and the situation is expected to remain the same during this week.

"Strike on Dec. 10: 1,400 demonstrators against the pension reform in the Mont-de-Marsan's streets" The banner reads, "Retreat Macron, Retreat without cash, retreat unconditionally."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that his government intends to build a single pension system, which would be based on a "point system" to encourage people to work longer.

“France does not have a single pension system but 42 individual systems: for railway workers, energy sector employees, Banque de France employees, miners...,” outlet DW explained.

On Tuesday, the conservative politician Christian Jacob, who is the leader of The Republicans party in the parliament, asked Macron administration to "cease its stubbornness" because its attitude threatens to generate problems for the country's economy.

The French "don't want a point pension system because it hurts them," he said.

So far, however, the government has not announced details about how the 42 pension schemes will be unified. The final text of the pension reform bill is expected to be announced on Wednesday when the French people will turn 7 consecutive days of protests against neoliberal policies.

Post with no comments.