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Pensions strikes sweep France in a big push to repel Emmanuel Macron’s attack

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Issue 2683
Hospital workers march in Paris
Hospital workers march in Paris (Pic: Photothèque Rouge /JMB)

Big strikes were set to hit France on Thursday this week as workers revolt against president Emmanuel Macron’s assault on pensions.

His points-based “reforms” would slash pensions and increase the pensions age.

Workers in the four biggest unions plan an indefinite strike on the national railways.

Regular strikers’ assemblies will decide whether to continue the action.

The pension attacks will hit rail workers hard. But they are also under threat from the network being broken up into five separate companies as a prelude to more assaults on jobs and conditions.

Another central focus will be the RATP who operate Paris’s Metro, bus, tram and local rail services. Their action in September virtually brought the capital to a halt.

Two teaching unions called on their members to walk out on Thursday and possibly beyond.

Some hospital workers’ unions have backed strikes. Firefighters began what they hoped would be a week-long protest camp in the Place de la Republique in Paris on Monday.

And postal workers in 20 regions who are in dispute with the state-owned La Poste over changes to working conditions will strike too.

Substantial sections of private industry are also set to strike including truck drivers, Carrefour and Geant Casino supermarket workers, Hippopotamus restaurants and Perrier and Haribo foods.

Sections of Yellow Vests have pledged to join actions and school students are also coming out in many areas.

This weeks’ strikes have also become a focus for those who marched recently over climate chaos and in protest at violence against women.


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