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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Hundreds of thousands of workers march across France opposing attacks on pensions

The mobilization June 6 saw 900,000 workers march in 250 rallies across the country. It is the 14th such mobilization since Macron began his attempted pension "reforms".

Workers march in Montpellier, France June 6 2023 -- Image via Twitter

For the 14th time since French President Emmanuel Macron announced his attacks on the pensions and retirement age of French workers hundreds off thousands mobilized in Paris and across the country in protest. The demonstrations and strikes called by coordinated national unions and left wing parties and groups saw 900,000 hit the streets nationwide with 300,000 marching in Paris alone according to the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT).

There were over 250 rallies. As many as 50,000 came out in Marseille and Toulouse with smaller cities like Rennes or Grenoble seeing as many as 10,000.

Workers warned that the Olympics will not proceed smoothly if they remain under attack. "We think that the money spent on organizing the Olympics would be much more useful to increase the salaries...of workers," said one protestor Olivier Vandenabeele.

Yassine Jioua, a machinist at a bus center in Malakoff and CGT trade unionist stated: "The Olympics will be without us as long as the government does not go back on its pension reform project. It is out of the question that the workers of this country will sacrifice their annual leave with their families to be able to give a good image of the Olympics. The cameras of the whole world will be riveted on Paris in 2024...We're not going to pretend everything is fine."

The CGT is demanding that Macron respect the results of a planned vote on June 8 which may see French parliamentarians overturn the pension reforms. It is doubtful, however, that the result will be respected.

According to the CGT: "A new forced passage on 8th June would deepen the democratic crisis even further and open up an institutional crisis. That would set a serious precedent. If the government persists in forcing its way through...nothing will be the same as before."

They note also that "If the government and the employers persist in their refusal to listen to the demands of the world of work, then they are not ready to be done with the mobilization."



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