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Trade unions will take to the streets across France again to protest pension reforms


Trade unions will take to the streets across France again to protest pension reforms

france protest pension
Photo: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP

Trade unions in France are continuing protests today against President Macron’s planned pension reforms.

The strikes, which are centered around the national rail system and Paris public transportation network, began with a rail worker walk-out in December.

Macron’s proposed reforms are the biggest changes to France’s pension system since WWII. They would replace the old pension system of separate plans based on profession with a single points-based system for all. Many fear this system would take away special benefits enjoyed by certain professions and force pensioners to work longer for a lower pension. Union protests have been successful in removing the proposed raise of retirement age from 62 to 64, the main source of union ire.

However, overall protester numbers have decreased in the past month as Macron’s recent concessions over retirement age and specific occupational pensions appeased more moderate unions. The French government has taken a harder stance in negotiations against the remaining radical rail and transportation unions, refusing to scrap the reform plan completely as they demand. The rail and public transportation unions plan to continue protests until demands are met; however, with dwindling numbers and a harder government stance this, seems unlikely.

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