Transport Minister, Clement Beaune said on Sunday that there will be heavy disruptions of public transportation in France on Tuesday, owing to labour union protesting against the government’s proposed changes to pension.
According to Beaune on LCI TV,” It will be a difficult, very difficult day for public transport… We expect major disruptions.”
While maintaining its basic goal to increase retirement age by two years to 64, as proposed by President Emmanuel Macron, the government, he stressed, will remain open to conversations with the unions.
In his words, “The heart of the reform will not change.”
According to a report by Reuters, the government has a plan to gradually increase the age of retirement by three months every year starting from September, until 2030.
Workers will also need to pay into social security over 43 years rather than 42 years starting in 2027 if they want to receive a full pension. A 2014 reform previously anticipated the additional year, but the government is quickening the pace of transition.
Not in agreement with the reform, unions, including the moderate CFDT union, are unitd and have vowed to keep up strikes and protests until the government stops this plan.
According to Macron, the pension system in France cannot stay financially viable without the reform because he was elected on a promise to reform pensions.
Reuters reported that, on January 19, more than a million people participated in a major protest organised by the unions across French cities opposing the reform. Besides stopping trains and blocking refineries, strikes also reduced power production.
Last week, unions planned a 48-hour strike at nuclear power plants and petroleum refineries for Thursday and Friday. However, after just one day, the walkout was called off when the hardline CGT union claimed that workers would have preferred to participate in the scheduled national strike on Tuesday.