French Unions to Strike as Sarkozy Pension Bill Debate Starts

September 7, 2010 04:18

French unions are striking nationwide as lawmakers begin debating President Nicolas Sarkozy’s bill to raise the retirement age.

By Gregory Viscusi and Mark Deen at


‘Transport workers began walking off the job last night, and many schools, post offices and government offices will be closed today. Demonstrations are planned in 137 cities.’

‘Massive strikes have blocked earlier attempts to stem losses in the pension system. The state pension fund will lose 10.7 billion euros this year, with the shortfall reaching 50 billion euros in 2020, with no change in policy, according to the Budget Ministry.’

Jean-Claude Mailly, the head of union Force Ouvriere, said he wants at least 2 million marchers across France today. “We need a big demonstration to weigh on the government,” he said on LCI television. The march in Paris, where cloudy but dry weather is forecast, starts at 2 p.m. local time. Heavy rains are forecast in the south and east of the country.’


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