Pensions: the unions give a first meeting in the street in January

Posted 6 Dec. 2022 at 10:30Updated 6 Dec. 2022 at 02:09 PM

The executive has hammered in recent days its desire to push back the legal retirement age and announced that it would specify the contours of its reform in mid-December. It’s the unions’ turn to step up the pressure.

It has been taken for granted since the beginning of the summer that the CFDT, the CGT, FO, the CFE-CGC, the UNSA, the CFTC, the FSU and Solidaires are working to mobilize against the reform that the government is preparing with the student unions and high school students. In the declaration they adopted during a meeting at the FSU headquarters on Monday evening, the 13 organizations meet in the streets in January for “a first […] united mobilization with strikes and demonstrations in January if the government remained propped up on its project”. The precise date will be fixed for the evening of the day when the executive will present its project, they warn.

Threat of a “major social conflict”

The threat is clear: that of a “major social conflict” for which “the government, by persisting, would bear full responsibility”. Both because, basically, “the vast majority” of French people are opposed to raising the retirement age, which is not an “imperative” contrary to what the executive asserts, and because of the “social, environmental and economic context […] particularly difficult for a growing part of the population” which makes the situation explosive.

In 2010, when France was suffering the repercussions of the financial crisis, 14 days of action, several of which had mobilized around 1 million people all over France according to the police, had not made the Head of State give up. then, Nicolas Sarkozy, to raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 years.

No common proposals

In line with their previous joint press release, released just before the start of consultations at the Ministry of Labour, the unions are once again contesting the government’s analysis of the prospects for the pension system, which they repeat is “not in danger, including for the younger generations”.

The joint press release also insists once again on the fact that alternatives, “including financial ones, exist to improve the end of careers and the amounts of pensions while reducing inequalities affecting women in particular”. But while trade unions and youth organizations announced in October their intention to “work[er] together to make common proposals”, none is mentioned.

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