Keyword: Pension reforms
The now two-month long, union-led series of street protests and strikes against the French government's planned reform of the national pensions system saw another day of action with a march through Paris on Thursday, when unions representing employees from the capital's transport network announced they would strike on February 17th during the draft legislation's passage through parliament.
As a cross-party parliamentary committee on Monday began to examine the draft pension reform legislation, aimed at merging the country’s 42 separate pension schemes into a points-based “universal” system, self-employed professionals, including lawyers and healthcare practitioners, took to the streets of Paris to protest the planned changes, which they argue will increase their social charges, lower their pension rights and drive many out of business.
In an interview with The Guardian, Philippe Martinez, head of one of France's biggest cross-trades unions and which has spearheaded the opposition to Emmanuel Macron's plans to reform the pension scheme, said the French president 'is so sure of himself, but he’s playing with fire', warning that the 'rancour' created by the reforms will be paid by the government 'one day or another'.
Lawyers, students and feminist groups joined in the seventh day of national strike action and demonstrations against proposed pension reforms by mostly public sector employees on Friday, when unions claimed 350,000 turned out for a march across Paris – 31,000 according to independent estimates – timed when ministers met at a cabinet meeting to approve the substance and schedule for the reforms due to begin their passage through parliament next month, and which the government plans to set out in legislation before the summer recess.
The union-led opposition to the French government’s planned pension reforms, which has notably seen transport services severely disrupted since early December, saw another day of widespread strike action and demonstrations on Thursday, although accoring to official figures turnout in the nationwide street protests was down on previous marches.
Édouard Philippe said he was willing to withdraw a proposal which would raise age at which French workers can claim their pension from 62 to 64.
Dozens of school close and rail services severely hit as demonstration enters 36th day and as talks over pension reforms are due to resume Friday.
As France returns from the Christmas break this week, the month-long strikes look set to get even more disruptiv.
French president calls for ‘rapid compromise’ in attempt to end four-week-long protests but his address to the nation was dismissed as a 'declaration of war against millions of French people who reject his reforms'.
After weeks of union-led strikes and protests against government plans to reform France's pension system, and which have severely disrupted transport services, notably in the Greater Paris Region, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to finally relieve his prime minister on the political frontline by announcing measures to break the deadlock during the traditional presidential New Year's Eve TV address on Tuesday.
The rolling strikes of French transport workers, and notably railways staff, which began in early December as part of national union-led protests against the government's plans to reform the pension system, on Friday became the longest since the winter of 1986 – and threaten to become the longest ever as talks are not set to resume until January 7th.
Paris Opera dancers, who have a bespoke pension plan dating back to the 17th century, gave an impromptu public performance of Swan Lake on the forecourt of the Palais Garnier in central Paris, with the backing of the Paris Symphony Orchestra, in a protest at President Emmanuel Macron's plan to introduce a universal pension scheme.
French railways operator SNCF has finally reopened Christmas chaperoned train services for unaccompanied minors which had been cancelled because of continuing strike action against proposed pension reforms, which was notably due to affect children from divorced couples living far apart.
President Emmanuel Macron, 42, has announced that he will forgo his future head-of-state pension in an effort to be 'exemplary and coherent' amid the standoff with unions which reject his proposed universal pension reforms that would put an end to some relatively advantageous retirement rights.