The unions in France staged mass protests against the proposed pension reforms of the French President, Emmanuel Macron today. The new bill is aimed at increasing the pension age to 62 from 64. The police in France used pepper sprays against the protesting students.
Macron and his presidency are facing a test in his bid to increase the pension age to 64. Several people took to the streets in Paris and many other cities in France to protest against raising the pension age.
Macron to move ahead with Pension reforms
The new bill obligates workers to work longer to be eligible to receive their pension. In the top news headlines today, the french president on Thursday vowed to pass the pension reform bill in the parliament despite massive protests across the nation,
What is affected by the massive protests in France?
The massive strikes against the pension reforms have disrupted public services, schools, and transport across the nation. With increased life expectancy and an aging population, Macron says working longer is the only way before receiving a pension. According to the unions, the new reform threatens hard-fought rights. It also forces employers to pay more to pay for pensions. The wealthy population will be forced to pay more taxes. According to the latest poll, most people in France oppose the pension reforms proposed by Macron. All the major unions in France took part in more than 200 rallies.
A person aged 56, Jean Paul Chachina, who works in the HR department, participated in the strike for the first time in his life supporting the workers engaged in demanding jobs and the youth. He is a witness to the sufferings of workers in the construction industry. Many youths, who participated in the strike, shouted slogans against President – Macron’s reforms. Unions in the high schools urged the students to join the protests against the pension reforms and improve their chances of getting jobs.
A 19-year-old student, Nathan Arsac said he fears losing social achievements and what will happen in the future. A nurse, who is 59 years, Sylvie Bechard said she took part in the strike because healthcare workers like her are physically exhausted and need rest.
Protracted strikes jeopardize the economy
The French government is worrying that the protracted strikes will weaken the economy. The nation already struggles to control rising inflation and put in efforts to improve growth. The cost of the ongoing strikes is not clear yet. Police also joined protests showing their ire against the proposed pension reforms. Those on duty brace for any violence should EGs (extremist groups) join the protests.
Cancels train services
According to a communique from the SNCF rail authority, some train services across the nation are canceled. Airlines issued warnings to travelers of imminent delays. They also canceled 20% of outbound flights from Paris.
According to information received from the BNN Network, around 42% of teachers joined the protest. A retired teacher, Thierry Desassis called the pension reform an aberration. People start suffering from health problems at the age of 64. Despite having good health, the 68-year-old teacher makes frequent visits to the physician.
Some monuments in France are also witnessing the impact of ongoing protests. The authorities at Eiffel Towers warned of potential disruptions. They also closed the Versailles Palace on Thursday. CGT Union’s general secretary, Philippe Martinez urged the president to listen to the people’s views on the proposed pension reforms.