On Tuesday, over 800,000 French workers took to the streets to reject President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to raise the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64.
Macron Mobilizes 11,000 French Officers to Suppress Protests
"We, workers, say now, loud and clear, in the biggest protest we have organized in 25 years: no to raising the minimum retirement age", French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT) leader Laurent Berger stated, stressing that the goal of the unions is that social pressure prevents the approval of Macron's bill.
About 25.92 percent of French teachers and a third of the National Society of French Railways (SNFC) employees participated in the demonstrations. Four national refineries also had at least 75 percent of their staff on strike.
"We ask French people for an effort. We cannot maintain the current pension system due to the population’s aging,” Work Minister Olivier Dussopt alleged.
The tweet reads, "Urgent: Great confusion in Paris. Police attack union march. People throw projectiles back at police."
"In 1970, there were three French contributors for one retiree. Currently, there are 1,7 contributors for each pensioner," Dussopt said, adding that France is one of the EU countries with the lowest retirement age (62).
Berger, who is also the president of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), called on Dussopt to stop using this argument to extend working life, as the actual retirement age in France and the rest of the EU is very similar.
"After having worked all our lives, we want to not only survive our retirement but live for some time after it. This is the message we convey in the streets," General Confederation of Labour (CGT) Secretary Philippe Martinez pointed out.