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News > France

French Workers Occupy Small Towns to Reject the Pension Reform

  • Citizens on strike, France, Feb. 16, 2023.

    Citizens on strike, France, Feb. 16, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @M_Belaroussi

Published 16 February 2023

Their protest seeks to attract the attention of legislators, who will have to vote on the Macron's proposals on Friday.

For the fifth time in a month, French trade unions on Thursday called for a demonstration against President Emmanuel Macron's proposal to increase the retirement age to 64 from 2030 and require 43 years of social security contributions to receive a full pension.


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The new mobilization seeks to attract the attention of legislators, who will have to vote on these proposals on Friday. Trade unions organized the biggest marches in Albi town to show that protests are not limited to Paris or the big cities, as politicians allege.

"We want to focus on one of the highlights of this social movement. Some French workers do not live in metropolises and want to claim that they are present," the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT) activist Laurent Berger said, recalling that 6,000 out of 50,000 inhabitants of Albi demonstrated on Saturday.

The new protests must primarily affect air transport. So far, air companies have canceled about 30 percent of flights at Paris’ Orly airport and a fifth of the flights scheduled to depart from Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon, Montpellier, and Nantes airports.

The French Electricity (EDF) company workers' strike led to a fall in electricity production of over 3,000 MW. However, there were no significant power cuts in the country.

Recent polls showed that two out of three French citizens oppose the pension system reform proposal, which they consider limits their right to remunerated rest.

Despite this, Macron continues to claim that the reform is necessary to ensure the economic viability of the pension system, which will allegedly have an annual deficit of over US$13 billion in 2030 without the proposed changes.

The General Confederation of Labor (CGT) pointed out that over 2.5 million people took part in 250 marches organized on Saturday against the government proposal.

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