The battle against the French government's pension reform is not simply just another protest movement. Three crucial issues are at stake here: social, democratic and civilisational, as shown by the exceptional unity among trade unions opposed to the changes, argues Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this op-ed article. All the more reason, he writes, to put all our energy into supporting this combat.
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'.
Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron has made the introduction of structural reforms in France one the priorities of his five-year term, beginning with a freeing-up of labour market regulations which he intends pushing through parliament this summer in the form of executive decrees. He began consultations with union leaders and employers this week, but he has made clear that the fundamentals are not negotiable, raising the prospect of a costly social conflict. To help steer this controversial and potentially divisive labour law reform into place a team of three key advisors have been appointed and who are profiled here by Dan Israel and Manuel Jardinaud.