France is on strike!
The people of France are standing firm. More mass demonstrations are planned for tomorrow as continuing strike action against proposed pension reforms takes hold across France.
France's transport workers are entering their 36th day of strike action (Thursday 9th January will be the 36th day), making it the longest strike for rail workers since May 1968.
Frances' rail network has been hit hardest by the industrial action and President Emmanuel Macron is standing firm, his government says the changes are necessary to make the pension system fairer and more sustainable. Workers and unions disagree and last minute talks held on Tuesday failed to make any progress to end the dispute.
The strikes started in France on the 5th of December, they have hit all areas of work and commerce, disrupting rail networks, city public transport, hauliers, teachers, airline ground crew, air traffic controllers and postal workers.
Macron’s government wants to apply one set of rules to all new pensioners.
It would replace the current 42 pension regimes that apply to various professions and can include specific provisions, like early retirement for train workers. All French retirees receive a state pension. The overall legal retirement age is 62.
The industrial action illustrates the mounting fears across generations that people will have to work longer for less.
- The upcoming strikes are the latest in a long line of protests since Macron came to power in 2017. Most centre on changes to the labour market, which Macron insisted during his election were necessary for France to become a more dynamic economy.