France braces for public transport collapse due to strike

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 France braces for public transport collapse due to strike

Public transport in France will be seriously disrupted on Tuesday, January 31, due to a strike by trade unions protesting the government's planned changes to pensions, French Transport Minister Clement Bon said on Sunday.< br />
"It will be a difficult day for public transport… We expect major disruptions”, — Bon said on LCI TV.

He added that the government was still open to negotiations with unions, but said the government would keep the main goal of the changes proposed by President Emmanuel Macron; raising the retirement age by two years to 64.

reforms will not change”, — the minister stressed.

The government wants to gradually increase the retirement age by three months a year from September until 2030.

From 2027, workers will also have to pay social security contributions during 43 instead of 42 to receive a full pension. The extra year was already included in the 2014 reform, but the government is accelerating the transition.

Trade unions, including the moderate CFDT, have united against the reform and vowed to continue strikes and demonstrations until the government abandons its plans.

Macron said he was elected on a pension reform platform and that, without changes, France's pension system cannot remain financially viable.

The unions organized the first major protest on 19 January, when more than a million people marched against the reform in French cities. hampered power generation.

Last week, unions planned a 48-hour strike at nuclear power plants and refineries for Thursday and Friday, but the action ended a day later when the hardline CGT union said workers preferred to join the planned nationwide strike on Tuesday.

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