French unions set new date for fresh pension reform strikes

Unions said by pushing the reforms through parliament without MPs voting, the government had chosen to accentuate the democratic and social crisis in France

Unions across France are set to strike again in a new national movement called for April 6
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French unions have announced another national strike to protest the government’s controversial pension reforms.

Workers are being urged to walk out on Thursday, April 6, in what will be the 11th official national day of action.

France’s transport network is expected to be affected, with delays and cancellations likely.

In a joint statement read out by Solidaires representatives Simon Duteil and Murielle Guilbert, the cross-union group called for “union demonstrations defined locally and a new major day of strikes and protests across the entire country”.

The unions said the day had been called “after two months of an exemplary social movement, unprecedented for 50 years, [and] widely supported by the population” in response to a “chaotic parliamentary process”.

It added: “The lack of response from the executive has led to a situation of tension in the country that worries us very much”.

The statement added that by using article 49.3 – which saw the reforms pass through parliament without MPs voting – the government has “chosen to accentuate the democratic and social crisis”.

It said that unions had warned of “a social explosion” from the beginning and called the reform “unfair, unjustified, and brutal”.

Read more: Fury as French PM forces through pension reforms without a vote

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne has said she will meet union representatives next week to discuss a way forward through the crisis.

The government passed its controversial reform - which sees the minimum retirement age in France rise from 62 to 64 - via the 49.3 article in mid-March. It then narrowly escaped two votes of no confidence put forward by opposition parties.

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