Huge crowds marched across France, piling pressure on Macron’s pension reform

  • The reform will elevate the retirement age from 62 to 64
  • Faculties, transportation networks and refinery deliveries have been affected
  • Macron: Reform is important to make sure the continuity of the pension system

PARIS (Reuters) – Large crowds marched throughout France on Tuesday to say “no” to President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make individuals work longer earlier than retiring, as strain mounted within the streets towards a authorities that claims it can stand agency.

Opinion polls present a big majority of French oppose elevating the retirement age to 64 from 62, a transfer Macron says is “important” to making sure the continuity of the pension system.

France’s Inside Ministry stated a complete of 1.272 million individuals took half within the nationwide protests, up barely from the primary nationwide demonstration on January 19. .

“It is higher than the nineteenth… It is an actual message despatched to the federal government, saying we do not need 64,” Laurent Berger, who leads CFDT, France’s largest federation, stated forward of the Paris rally.

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Union leaders stated in a joint press convention on the finish of the march that they may manage extra strikes and demonstrations towards reform on February 7 and 11.

Demonstrating behind banners studying “No to reform” or “We is not going to give up,” many stated they might take to the streets as typically as wanted till the federal government backed down.

“For a president, it is simple. He sits in a chair … he can work till he is 70,” bus driver Isabelle Texier stated at a protest in Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast. “We won’t ask the roof layers to work as much as 64, it is not potential.”

Placing employees have disrupted French refinery shipments, public transport and colleges, even when, in lots of sectors, fewer jobs left on Tuesday than on the nineteenth as a result of the cost-of-living disaster makes it laborious to skip a day’s wages.

Extra hits?

For the unions, the problem can be to maintain the strike at a time when excessive inflation is eroding salaries.

A union supply stated that about 36.5% of the SNCF’s rail operator employees have been on strike by noon — down about 10% from January 19 — even when the disruption to coach visitors was broadly related.

On the rail networks, just one in three high-speed TGV trains and fewer native and regional trains have been working. Providers on the Paris metro have been thrown into chaos.

EDF Utilities Group (EDF.PA) He stated 40.3% of employees have been on strike, down from 44.5%. The Schooling Ministry additionally stated that fewer lecturers had left their jobs.

Unions and firms generally disagreed about whether or not this strike was roughly profitable than the earlier one. for TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA)Fewer employees at its refineries had stopped utilizing the instruments, however CGT stated there have been extra.

EDF knowledge confirmed, nonetheless, that French power provides fell by about 5%, or 3.3 gigawatts, as employees at nuclear reactors and thermal crops joined the strike.

TotalEnergies stated shipments of petroleum merchandise from its French websites had stopped, however buyer wants have been being met.


The federal government stated pushing the retirement age to 64 was “non-negotiable”.

And with imposed reform testing Macron’s skill to push by means of change now that he has misplaced his working majority in Parliament, some felt resigned to compromising with conservative opponents who’re absolutely open to pension reform.

“There isn’t any level in happening strike. This legislation can be adopted anyway,” stated Mathieu Jacot, 34, who works within the luxurious sector.

Based on estimates by the Labor Ministry, the pension reform will usher in a further 17.7 billion euros ($19.18 billion) in annual pension contributions. Unions say there are different methods to boost income, resembling taxing the super-rich or asking employers or better-off pensioners to contribute extra.

“This reform is unfair and brutal,” stated Luke Farr, Secretary Basic of the UNSA Civil Servants Union.

And on an area stage, some have declared “Robin Hood” operations not approved by the federal government. Within the southwest area of Lot-et-Garonne, the native CGT union department has minimize energy to a number of velocity cameras and disabled sensible power meters.

“When there’s large opposition, it will be harmful for the federal government to not hear,” stated Mylene Jacot, normal secretary of the CFDT’s civil servants department.

Extra reporting by Sybil de la Hamid, Forrest Crelin, Benjamin Mallet, Alain Ako, Lily Forode, Stéphane Mahe, Benoit van Overstraeten, Lee Thomas, Michel Rose, and Bertrand Bossy; Written by Ingrid Melander and Richard Love; Modifying by Janet Lawrence, Mark Heinrichs, Gareth Jones and Mark Porter

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