France: Massive strikes against government pension reform

09 December 2019 08:50

5 December 2019: the biggest mass strikes France has seen since 1995 entered their second day prompted by the government's pension reforms.

According to the French trade unions, the government proposal for a single pension system would eliminate dozens of separate plans for public sector workers, force millions of people in both the public and private sector to work longer and possibly beyond the official retirement age of 62.

On the first day of the strike, the unions organized national Marches in Paris and other cities to show solidarity as thousands of public sector workers and teachers went on strike, bringing France to a virtual standstill. 

There were around 235 marches in towns and cities across France. By mid-day authorities recorded 180,000 demonstrators across the country but these figures did not include the marches in Lyon, Marseille and Paris.

The unions have called for another day of mass strikes and protests for Tuesday 10 December 2019. At the same time, rail workers and air traffic controllers have declared indefinite strikes until the government retracts its reform plans. 

BWI French affiliate, the National Federation of Construction Wood and Furniture Employees-CGT have expressed a clear position against Macron’s pension reform and called their members to join the general strike on the 10th of December.