Support Global Action on Aging!
Civil Servants March Over Pension Reform
- French trade unions, divided over government plans to reform the state
pension system, launched new strikes Monday that hit electricity output,
schools and hospitals, though public transport ran normally.
In Paris, some
100,000 protesters braved the rain to march against reforms that will push
back the retirement age of many French workers from 60 at present,
organizers said. Police estimates put the figure at 38,000.
Ministry said half of primary and nursery school teachers and around 40
percent of other teachers joined the walkout across the country, forcing
school closures. Action by energy workers slashed French power exports by
The large FDT union
and the smaller CFE-CGC approved the pension reforms last week after
winning government concessions.
But five other
unions, including the Communist-led CGT, have threatened wildcat strikes
and a national day of protests on May 25 against plans to make people pay
more and for longer into the state pension system to avoid a funding
central bank employees and workers from state-controlled France Telecom
joined Monday's strike.
The opposition Socialists vowed at their congress at the weekend to reverse the reforms if they return to power and gave their blessing to the May 25 protests. But the Organization for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) international think tank said Monday that even if the proposed reforms were passed they would not be enough in themselves to rescue the pension system.