People in France Protest As Government Increase Retirement Age

The government of France says the pension reform is vital to ensure the system does not go bust. The retirement age has been raised by two years.

In protest of the government’s attempts to raise the retirement age by 2 years to 64, more than a million people participated in rallies throughout France on Thursday, which caused trains to be delayed and electricity supplies to be reduced.

The government reported that 1.12 million people had altogether participated in the protest, including 80,000 at a protest in Paris, France, when some demonstrators and police had a brief altercation.

The work stoppages represent a significant challenge for President Emmanuel Macron, who claimed on Thursday that his pension reform plan, which surveys show is wildly unpopular, was “fair and responsible” and had to be implemented. Contrarians in France disagreed.

At the beginning of the protest march in Tours, Western France, one significant banner hoisted by workers read: “It’s salaries and pensions that must be increased, not the retirement age.”

According to the criteria in France, there were more people present than at the first protest against the previous pension change in 2019.

A social worker in France at the age of 53, Isabelle stated she would have to arrange her walking frame if the amendment passes. She said her job is too onerous to add two additional years.”

More than 2 million people participated, according to Philippe Martinez, the authoritarian CGT union leader. Police and union predictions may differ greatly in France. Political observers claim that the turnout is positive for the unions in any case.

When black-clad, masked youths in hoodies threw objects at their lines, the police briefly opened fire with tear gas on the protest’s periphery in Paris. Police reported that about 30 people were detained.

According to the administration, pension reform is essential to prevent the system’s collapse. According to calculations from the Labour Ministry in France, raising the retirement age by two years and prolonging the pay-in period would result in an extra 17.7 billion euros ($19.1 billion) in pension contributions each year, enabling the system to break even by 2027.

Unions claim that there are additional ways to guarantee the sustainability of the pension system in France, such as taxing the extremely wealthy or raising employer or wealthy pensioner payments.

“This problem can be solved differently, through taxation.” According to Laurent Berger, the head of the CFDT, the largest labour union in France, “workers should not have to pay for the public sector deficit.”

The unions’ task is to mobilize resistance to the legislation and resentment over the expense of living in crisis into a widespread social protest that could finally persuade the French government to alter course.

French union officials said Thursday was just the beginning and predicted that more strikes and protests would be announced that evening.

Even though Macron has lost his perfect majority in parliament, he is still trying to implement the pension reform with the help of the conservatives.

According to the corporation, roughly 45% of employees at utility giant EDF, as well as train drivers, instructors, and refinery workers, took a sick day. Bus drivers and government employees also took the day off from work, while France Inter radio played the song instead of its regular programming.

According to the SNCF rail operator, hardly any regional or local trains were running, and only one in three to one in five high-speed TGV routes were in operation.

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