French workers strike against pension reforms

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on October 12, 2010

In a third round of strikes this month, French unions are taking to the streets once again to protest the proposed reforms to government pension schemes.

Hundreds of thousands of labourers are expected to demonstrate in French cities across the country as workers from the transport, civil and education sectors rise up against the proposed rise in retirement ages. New government plans would see state pension age raised from 65 to 67, and retirement eligibility increase from 60 to 62.

Additionally, numerous workers will take a vote for a proposed series of open-ended strikes that will continue to protest the upcoming reforms. During today’s strike day, all but one of the three TGV high-speed trains will be available. Commuter trains in Paris will be virtually shut down, and Charles de Gaulle airport is forecasted to cancel one in every three flights during the industrial uprising.

Eurostar has said that its Paris to London service, however, will continue to operate as normal. Busses are also expected to run routine services despite the strikes.

Over 200 demonstrations are staged to go on throughout the nation, crippling public services as workers protest the pension reforms. Further demonstrations are also scheduled for Saturday, and public transport workers will vote to continue with open-ended strikes until the matter is resolved.

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