Paris France’s President Emmanuel Macron met with bitter resistance from the trade unions with his plans for pension reform. “We will fight to have this unfair reform reversed,” CFDT leader Laurent Berger told Radio France Inter on Wednesday. Philippe Martinez from the more radical trade union confederation CGT threatened the government on TV station BFM that France “stalled” if the workers wanted it.
A nationwide protest day with strikes is planned for January 19. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne plans to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 by 2030.
Unperturbed by the unions’ announcements, the Paris government said it was not afraid of a nationwide call for strikes and protests and would stick to its plan. The draft is due to be officially approved by the cabinet on January 23 before being presented to parliament, in which Macron’s government camp no longer has a majority.
Unions can count on the backing of the Nupes coalition, led by left-wing populist Jean-Luc Melenchon, in Parliament to oppose the pension plans, calling for workers to protest on January 19. However, support from the Conservatives is considered crucial to the prospects of getting Macron’s key project through Parliament republican. They would bring enough votes to pass the reform.
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Should the project go through, the government hopes the changes can go into effect in September. Accordingly, the retirement age will be raised by three months per year from September and will reach the target age of 64 in 2030. From 2027, the French would then have to show 43 years of work to receive a full pension.