French PM defies unions with pension overhaul, they pledge more strikes

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French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe defies striking workers with plans for a pension overhaul. Trade unions pledge more strikes, with one union leader calling the plan ‘a joke’

PARIS - France’s prime minister said on Wednesday its people should work two years longer to get a full pension, drawing a hostile response from trade unions who said they would step up strike action to force an about-turn.

The reform-minded CFDT union, which has hitherto stayed out of the strikes, said a “red line” had been crossed and that it was calling on members to join mass protests on Dec. 17. He showed some flexibility to unions over the timing, saying anyone within 17 years of retirement would be exempt - a longer period than the five years initially envisaged.Reform of France’s pension system, which offers some of the most generous benefits in the industrialized world, has proven a treacherous task for past and present governments.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe unveils the details of a pensions reform plan before the CESE in Paris, France December 11, 2019. Thomas Samson/Pool via REUTERSThe hard-left CGT union accused the prime minister of turning a deaf ear to the strikers. The strongest opposition to the planned reform has come from workers with ‘special benefit’ plans, including rail employees, dockers and Paris Opera singers who are entitled to retire on a full pension years before the average retirement age of 62.

 

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France is not the USA or the UK... Old people deserve to live with decency and retire with a decent amount at a decent age. Not to work until the death as it is cherished in crazy capitalists countries where the human value is 0...

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