Around the country, protests are held in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.
According to the interior ministry, 1.28 million people took part in a statewide strike against French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposals to raise the retirement age to 64.
The number is slightly higher than the 1.27 million recorded during a previous round of rallies against the change on January 31 and suggests that the demonstrations were among the largest in recent decades. The CGT union, which is very leftist, estimated there were 3.5 million protestors.
Authorities and local media reported that other protest marches held across the nation drew larger audiences than those held since mid-January, including one in Marseille, one of France’s largest cities.
On the fringes of the Paris gathering, there were some altercations, and police reported that 22 people had been detained.
France’s statewide strike, which on Tuesday caused problems with trains, closed schools, and stopped fuel delivery, will continue into Wednesday as unions intensified their push for a policy change that is extremely unpopular. Both parties are in a crucial position right now since Macron’s administration is counting on the parliament to approve his proposal to raise the retirement age by two years by the end of the month.
The most rigid unions in France said this time that there would be rolling strikes that may last for days, at least in some sectors, in an effort to put additional pressure on politicians.
Workers at all TotalEnergies locations have voted to extend strikes, according to the CGT union.
“The real fight starts now,” said Marin Guillotin, FO union representative at the Donges refinery in western France. “Neither have you heard us nor listened to us. We are continuing to fight with the last remaining strategy, which is a forceful strike.
According to the transportation organizations operating them, SNCF and RATP, trains will continue to be interrupted on Wednesday, along with the Paris metro system, though to a slightly smaller extent than on Tuesday.
The walkout had expanded to more industries on Tuesday, and truck drivers and trash collectors had joined. According to polls, the general population has a strong distaste for Macron’s idea to have people work longer hours.
The administration maintains that its reform strategy is necessary to prevent the pension system from going bankrupt.
Also, the administration claims that the pensions of the lowest 30% of the population will rise by 2.5 to 5%.
According to unions, modest increases in contributions could maintain the pension system’s viability. They contend that the proposed changes will unfairly disadvantage low-skilled people in demanding positions who are just starting their careers.