Large strikes, demonstrations against pensions reforms to paralyse Paris again

strikes france
Photo: Zakaria Abdelkafi/AFP

Unions are expected to continue a series of rolling strikes in Paris today over the French government’s pension reform plan.

The main disagreement between trade unions and the French government is over whether the pension system should be unified or categorically applied, with the government arguing for the former. Unions contend that the changes to the pension plan compromise their rights and autonomy.

It is unclear whether French President Emmanuel Macron will concede to the demands of protesters. On one hand, transportation in Paris will be shut down and more than 800,000 people are expected to mobilise, reflecting Parisians’ frustration with the plan. Polls suggest the majority of French citizens support the strike and distrust Macron’s ability to carry out pension reform.

On the other hand, Macron’s entire platform was centred on the transfiguration of the pension and welfare system and he has frequently decried his predecessor for conceding to protests. If he chooses to back down, Macron could suffer politically with his support base.

The government is expected to release the full details of its pension plan on Wednesday, but protests are expected to impede transportation and will likely continue thereafter.

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