UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — As Christmas Eve approaches, railway workers in France on Tuesday double their steps against pension reform, two weeks before the government sets a date for the resumption of discussions with social partners on January 7.
The number of strikers is declining, as about 10% of the employees of the National Railways Company participated, on Monday, half of the drivers. But the situation will remain volatile Tuesday, on the twentieth day of the strike, whether in the rail network, suburban trains or the Paris metro, with 6 out of 16 lines remaining completely closed.
It is expected that the National Railways Company will announce on Tuesday the working hours of long-distance trains for the weekend, on December 28 and 29.
In order to maintain enthusiasm, the General Confederation of Labor (CJJT) planned to make moves throughout the week, especially by taking “a set of initiatives to celebrate Christmas among the strikers,” according to its Secretary General Laurent Bran.
The unionist, Erik Meyer, stated that the peak of the move is expected to be on Saturday, 28th of the month, with mobilization throughout the country at the invitation of the aforementioned union and the Sud-Ray union.
On Monday, protesters briefly blocked traffic on Line 1 of the Paris Metro and occupied a train pier at Gare de Lyon in Paris.
“We were told that the strike was over, and that everything was going well … The goal was to show some kind of determination,” said Fabian Feldeu, a delegate of the Sud-Ray union, who participated in the sudden action.
He continued, “The country is in a state of stalemate, people cannot use the train, there is unprecedented social anger,” and he urged the government to “cut its vacation.”
But the executive, which wants to replace the existing 42 pension systems with a “comprehensive system” with points, is unlikely to return from “canceling private plans”, including those of companies that govern the Paris metro and trains, and this is what the new official in charge of reforms, Laurent Petraevsky, has mentioned.
The office of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced Monday evening the program of consultations with the social partners who will be received on January 7 by several ministers to talk about end-of-service management.
Discussions will continue, including with other ministers, before the bill is presented to the Council of Ministers on January 22, to specifically discuss the end of hospital staff services, the gradual retirement of civil servants or teacher salaries.
Meanwhile, Edouard Philip will propose a “modus operandi” regarding the financial balance of the pension system during “the sixth week of January”.
And on Monday on the “BFMTV” channel, the secretary general of the “Force Overaire”, Yves Verrier, called on the government once again to simply abandon the reforms, saying that the topics they propose to discuss have nothing to do with the comprehensive pension system.
The union will participate with the CJT union in a demonstration on January 9th.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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