Macron pension reform: France enters second day of strikes
Written by Fred on December 6, 2019
A strike over planned pension reforms that paralysed France on Thursday has entered its second day.
Several unions, including rail and metro workers, voted to extend the strike action, meaning another day of major disruptions to key services.
It comes after more than 800,000 people protested on Thursday, with violent clashes reported in a number of cities.
Workers are angry about planned pension reforms that would see them retiring later or facing reduced payouts.
France currently has 42 different pension schemes across its private and public sectors, with variations in retirement age and benefits. President Emmanuel Macron says his plans for a universal points-based system would be fairer, but many disagree.
Rail workers voted to extend their strike through Friday, while unions at the Parisian bus and metro operator said their walkout would continue until at least Monday.
Numerous rush-hour trains into Paris were cancelled on Friday and 10 out of 16 metro lines were closed, while others ran limited services, Reuters news agency reports.
Traffic jams of more than 350km (217 miles) were reported on major roads in and around the capital.
A number of flights have also been disrupted, while many schools are expected to remain shuttered and hospitals understaffed.
Mr Macron’s government has reportedly made plans to deal with the strike action at the weekend.
Some trade union leaders have vowed to strike until Mr Macron abandons his campaign promise to overhaul the retirement system.
“We’re going to protest for a week at least, and at the end of that week it’s the government that’s going to back down,” 50-year-old Paris transport employee Patrick Dos Santos told Reuters.
(SOURCE : BBC)