In protest at plans to up the retirement age and overhaul the pensions system, French unions are joining forces for another round of strike action at the end of this month.
France wouldn’t be France without striking workers. The protests the country experienced just last week, which caused huge, nationwide disruption to travel networks, are in line with a kind of collective philosophy that people should speak out for what they believe in, or in the case of the planned strikes on 31st January, what they believe is wrong.
President Emmanuel Macron’s planned pension reforms, which will raise the retirement age to 64 from 62, have struck a nerve with the population. Unions set themselves firmly against the changes immediately after the initial announcement, and challenges began on 19th January when an estimated 1.12 million workers stepped out in protest.
Unions such as the CFDT, CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC, UNSA, Solidaires, and FSU are again calling on all members to walk out on 31st January, and the transport and education unions have already made their declarations to join. A full list of participants will become clearer in the coming days.
“One thing is certain, we will be there again on 31st January to face the government and its reform,” the national secretary of the French Communist Party, Fabien Roussel, said on RTL the day after the last strike.
The date of 31st January has not been randomly chosen. It is will be one day after the arrival in parliament of the official text laying out the reforms.
Locally, strikes are being planned in Nice at 10am at the Jardins Albert 1er. Other actions in the region include those in Toulon, Marseille, Draguignan and Brignoles.
Photo source: CGT/Facebook