You can read 9 more articles this month
FRENCH unions rejected President Emmanuel Macron’s “mockery” of a pension reform plan today, leaving the country to expect further strike action.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on national television that the government would press on with plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, but offered concessions in a bid to calm nationwide protests.
According to the government, the new scheme is aimed at replacing a complicated pension system that includes special privileges for some sectors with one set of rules for all.
The announcement was made as hundreds of thousands of workers took part in a seventh day of crippling strikes in Paris and other main cities.
Mr Philippe said the widely opposed pension changes would be implemented in phases, “without brutality,” and would not affect workers born before 1975.
He claimed that the government’s proposals would “justify” an end to the industrial action, which has disrupted rail services nationwide and grounded many flights.
But General Confederation of Labour (CGT) union leader Philippe Martinez said: “The government is making fun of everyone.
“We are not happy at all with the government’s announcements,” he said. “It is a joke and in particular it makes a mockery of those who are fighting today.”
The CGT’s rail arm said the proposals were “not up to the mark” and should “encourage workers to strengthen the strike.”
Several other unions agreed, including Force Ouvriere, which said the prime minister’s address only “confirms the necessity to step up the strike action.”
Unions are calling for a fresh day of national protests next Tuesday.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.