'Bring Nation To Standstill': France Hit By Massive Strikes Over Pension Reform
As of Tuesday, a nationwide strike in France caused significant disruptions, such as halted trains, closed ports, empty schools, canceled and delayed flights, uncollected trash, and closed oil refineries. Over a million people participated in protests against President Emmanuel Macron's proposal to raise the retirement age to 64. The strike is expected to continue through Wednesday.
"The idea is to bring France to a standstill," said Fabrice Michaud of the railway workers' branch of the CGT trade union.
07.03.23 França.. desde as primeiras horas da manhã de hoje, trabalhadores de várias cidades francesas saíram às ruas em protestos contra as reformas previdenciárias propostas por Emanuel Macron.. pic.twitter.com/RW1DRVIcV8— Fernanda MacMillan (@floresdepapel6) March 7, 2023
Aconteceram bloqueios em freeway, aeroportos, etc .. pic.twitter.com/oDcqeiqO5b— Fernanda MacMillan (@floresdepapel6) March 7, 2023
Confrontos com a polícia francesa aconteceram que tentaram desbloquear ruas, rodovias e aeroportos pic.twitter.com/nWbC8mS2mo— Fernanda MacMillan (@floresdepapel6) March 7, 2023
Unions have called for a nationwide day of strikes for the sixth time this year. "Many protest rallies attracted bigger crowds than those organized since mid-January, including in Marseille, one of France's biggest cities," The Guardian said.
Marin Guillotin, an FO union representative at the Donges refinery in western France, emphasized:
"The real fight starts now.
"We haven't been heard or listened to. We are using the only means we have left: it's the hard strike ... we are not going to give up."
Macron's proposition to prolong the retirement age has been met with considerable resistance from the public. The proposition seeks to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 and increase the years of employment necessary to qualify for a full pension. Currently, it's being deliberated in the French Senate.