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French labor unions protest pension reforms


French labor unions protest pension reforms

French protest pension reform
French labor unions gather today to protest proposed pension reforms increasing retirement age by two years. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

French unions will hold a strike today to protest pension reforms.

Earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a pension reform which would see the national retirement age increase by two years. The controversial announcement drew the instant reaction of various French labor unions—such as the French Democratic Confederation of Labor—which responded by organizing a series of strikes and protests today. While President Macron aims to cut down the budget allocated towards pensions, which accounts for roughly 14% of economic output, labor unions are hoping that this strike will prompt French lawmakers to instead rule in their favor.

While Macron will likely get several lawmakers from the conservative Les Republicans (LR) party on board in the short to medium-term prior to the parliamentary hearing, it is still unlikely for the reform to pass. While the LRis still divided on the issue, the Socialist faction, the far-left La France Insoumise, and the far-right National Rally staunchly oppose the reform, resulting in very minimal overall support. Regardless of the decision, the split between Macron and the labor unions will widen further making it more difficult for reconciliation. This in turn, could ultimately impact Macron’s popularity.

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