A defiant French working class sent a powerful message to president Emmanuel Macron with nearly 1.3 million people taking to the streets on January 24 Friday, in the seventh national strike against the controversial pension reforms. Mobilizations took place in around 200 places across the country on the call of trade unions, including the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), Workers’ Force (FO), Solidaires, CFE-CGC, FSU, UNEF, UNL, MNL, and FIDL.
According to reports, the French council of ministers discussed the controversial reforms on Friday as a prelude to forwarding it to the parliament.
Macron’s government has been pushing hard to implement the reforms that stipulate a centralized points-based pension system and increasing the retirement age from 62 to 64. The French government wants to pass the controversial reforms before the summer of 2020. The trade unions in the country have been protesting against the reforms since its announcement in July 2019 and a month-long strike in December had forced the government to announce concessions on the age for retirement. But the unions have rejected these proposals and have demanded a complete rollback of the unpopular reforms.
In a joint press release on January 24, the unions also demanded open and constructive negotiations in order to improve the conditions in all professional sectors for the current and future generations.
CGT has said that around 61% of the French people want the government to withdraw this unpopular reform. The unions also called for another national strike on January 29 and mobilizations on January 30-31.