France: Macron, unions head for pension reform showdown

Source: Reuters

“The French should work two years longer to age 64 before retiring, the government said on Tuesday, announcing an unpopular pension system overhaul that immediately prompted unions to call for strikes and protests. The right [sic] to retire at a relatively young age is deeply cherished in France and the reform will be a major test of President Emmanuel Macron’s ability to deliver change as social discontent mounts over the cost of living. … ‘Nothing justifies such a brutal reform,’ Laurent Berger, leader of the moderate, reform-minded CFDT union, told reporters after trade union leaders agreed on a nationwide strike for Jan. 19, which will kick off a series of strikes and protests. An Odoxa poll showed four out of five citizens oppose the higher retirement age. … The Socialists, the hard-left La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) and the far-right’s National Rally were swift to denounce the reform.” (01/10/23)