French trade unions welcome massive vote in protest against pension reform

Issuance of: change:

In France, more than a million people took to the streets on Thursday to demand the government’s withdrawal of plans to reform pension payments. Widespread strikes have crippled public transport, closed schools and slowed the energy sector.

In Paris, the hardline CGT union said about 400,000 demonstrators marched through the streets.

There were more than a million protesters across the country, according to government figures released Thursday night.

In the capital, clashes broke out between police and demonstrators around the Place de la Bastille.

Missiles were hurled at the police, who fired tear gas. Violence was also reported in Lyon and Rennes.

From Calais in the north to Nice in the south, demonstrators have taken to the streets to denounce plans to raise the legal retirement age from 62 to 64.

Union leaders at the start of demonstrations in Paris. LR: 19 January 2023, François Hommeril, President of the CFE-CGC, Laurent Berger, Secretary General of the Confederation of Democratic Labor (CFDT), Philippe Martinez, CGT Leader, Muriel Gilbert, Co-Chairman of the French Union Syndicaire Solidaire and Simon Duteil. ©Benoît Tessier/Reuters

opposite voice

Thousands of people took part in protests in cities across the country even before the Paris marches began.

Figures reported by the media show massive mobilization. Perigueux.

This number is on par with or higher than the last demonstration against pension reform, which officially attracted 806,000 protesters in December 2019, 1.5 million according to unions.

Demonstrators against the French government's plans to reform pensions in Saint-Nazaire on January 19, 2023.
Demonstrators against the French government’s plans to reform pensions in Saint-Nazaire on January 19, 2023. © Stephen Mahe/Reuters

The union, united for the first time in 12 years, wants to send a strong message to President Emmanuel Macron, who is determined to pass a presidential decree. Reform of the pension system To balance the books and bring France in line with the rest of Europe.

About 70 percent of primary school teachers are on strike on Thursdays, and 65 percent of middle and high school teachers are on strike, according to union statistics. The government puts the numbers at 42% and 65% respectively.

Mr Macron, who is in Spain, told a press conference in Madrid that the reforms were fair and responsible and that the government must implement the plan.

“There is a very strong mobilization of workers who reject this reform. told RFI.

Continued social unrest

Thursday was seen as a test by trade unions who announced another date of action, January 31, to press union demands for changes to President Macron’s proposal.

A long-term strike requires a lot of commitment, said Benoît Teste, secretary general of the FSU teachers’ union.

“The question is whether or not you continue to exercise,” he said. told RFI “We need to guarantee the participation of the maximum number of people.”

The CGT Mines-Energie union, which represents energy workers, said it supported an unrestricted strike as of Thursday. Longer strikes mean less power generation.

The La CGT Gasoline Union has said it intends to go on strike for 72 hours on 6 February. French trade unions welcome massive vote in protest against pension reform

Back to top button