France strikes: Workers carry Paris to a standstill in second mass protest over retirement age reforms


French faculties and transportation networks have been closely disrupted Tuesday for the second time this month, as unions staged one other mass strike in opposition to authorities plans to lift the retirement age for many employees.

Unions and opposition events referred to as for folks to protest in main cities, hoping for a repeat of the primary main demonstration in opposition to the plans on January 19, when greater than 1 million folks took half. Strikes that day introduced the transportation community to a standstill and shuttered the Eiffel Tower to guests.

In Paris, greater than 100 faculties have been anticipated to shut Tuesday as 60% of lecturers walked out, the most important training union FSU stated on Twitter.

The French capital was anticipated to bear the brunt of the protests and the nation’s inside minister Gérald Darmanin stated 4,000 police can be deployed to make sure strikes happen “without any serious incidents.”

The metropolis’s transport company RATP warned that the metro and suburban rail companies can be “very disrupted.”

National railway operator SNCF stated two thirds of trains on the TGV, France’s intercity high-speed rail service, can be canceled Tuesday and solely 20% of regional trains would function.

Air France

(AFLYY) canceled 10% of short-haul flights however stated strikes wouldn’t have an effect on long-haul companies. Eurostar, in the meantime, canceled a number of companies between Paris and London.

There can be 248 protests throughout the nation, Philippe Martinez, the chief of considered one of France’s greatest confederation of unions CGT, advised CNN affiliate BFM-TV Tuesday.

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Despite the mass motion, President Emmanuel Macron’s authorities is standing agency on deliberate pension reforms, which is able to steadily enhance the age at which French residents can draw a state pension to 64, from 62.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne stated elevating the retirement age was “not negotiable,” throughout an interview on home tv station France Info.

The authorities has stated the laws is important to sort out a funding deficit, however the reforms have angered employees at a time when residing prices are rising.

Thousands took half in mass demonstrations on the streets of Paris final yr protesting the price of residing, and strikes by employees demanding increased pay brought on gasoline pumps to run dry throughout the nation a number of months in the past.

France spends practically 14% of GDP on state pensions, one of many highest charges amongst nations within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Raising the retirement age to 64 will maintain France under the norm in Europe and in lots of different developed economies, the place the age at which full pension advantages vest is 65 and more and more transferring in direction of 67.

— Marguerite Lacroix contributed to this text.