France hit by second nationwide strike towards pension reform By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO-Law enforcement officials conflict with protesters as they display towards the French authorities’s pension reform plan in Paris, France, January 19, 2023. Adrien AdcaZz through REUTERS.

By Benjamin Mallet and Leigh Thomas

PARIS (Reuters) -A second nationwide strike disrupted French electrical energy manufacturing, public transport and faculties on Tuesday, in a backlash towards the federal government’s plans to make individuals work longer earlier than retirement.

Unions, which have scheduled protest rallies throughout France all through the day, need to preserve the strain on the federal government and hope to repeat the massive turnout for the primary nationwide day of protest on Jan. 19.

That day, greater than one million individuals marched in opposition to pushing the retirement age to 64 from 62 and accelerating a deliberate delay within the age eligible for a full pension.

“This reform is unfair and brutal,” stated Luc Farre, the secretary common of the civil servants’ UNSA union. “Transferring (the pension age) to 64 goes backwards, socially.”

Solely about one in three high-speed TGV trains ran on Tuesday and even fewer native and regional trains, whereas the Paris metro was critically disrupted.

Half of major college lecturers will stroll off the job, their union stated, whereas oil refinery employees and employees throughout different sectors, together with public broadcasters, which performed music as a substitute of reports programmes, additionally went strike.

French energy provide was down by 4.4%, or 2.9 gigawatts, as employees at nuclear reactors and thermal vegetation joined the strike, information from utility group EDF (EPA:) confirmed.

TotalEnergies stated there was no supply of petroleum merchandise from its French websites due to the strike, including that petrol stations had been totally provided and that clients’ wants had been met.

Opinion polls present most French individuals oppose the reform, however President Emmanuel Macron and his authorities intend to face their floor. The reform is “very important” to make sure the pension system retains working, Macron stated on Monday.

Pushing again the retirement age by two years and increasing the pay-in interval would yield a further 17.7 billion euros ($19.18 billion) in annual pension contributions, permitting the system to interrupt even by 2027, in line with Labour Ministry estimates.

Unions say there are different methods to do that, reminiscent of taxing the tremendous wealthy or asking employers or well-off pensioners to contribute extra.


The federal government made some concessions within the draft invoice, reminiscent of setting the brand new pensionable age at 64 as a substitute of Macron’s marketing campaign pledge of 65, and agreeing to a minimal pension of 1,200 euros a month for all.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne says the 64 threshold is “non-negotiable”, however the authorities is exploring methods to offset a number of the impression, particularly on girls.

Borne stated the federal government was trying on the impression of the reform on the extra pension rights for moms.

As protesters rally throughout France, lawmakers will probably be debating the draft invoice at committee stage. The unions stated they had been making an attempt to influence lawmakers to not again the invoice.

“When there’s such an enormous opposition (to a reform), it could be harmful for the federal government to not pay attention,” Mylene Jacquot, the secretary common of the CFDT union’s civil servants department, advised Reuters.

($1 = 0.9227 euros)

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