France braces itself for more strikes

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French workers take to the streets anew Tuesday on the 13th day of a transport strike that has exasperated commuters, hit business turnover, and threatened the holiday plans of thousands a week before Christmas.

France24 reports that with just days left to avert transport chaos for many who have already bought their tickets for the festive break, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday invited unions and employers’ organisations to “working meetings” Wednesday.

Philippe unveiled reforms last week, including a change in the pivotal retirement age from 62 to 64, though people can still decide to retire at 62. The leader of one of France’s largest unions, the CFDT, said that the adjustment in age crossed a “red line” and called for the strike to continue.

These sessions on the government’s plan to merge 42 existing pension schemes into one would be followed by a joint meeting on Thursday, he said.

Philippe also offered to discuss the reform with bosses of rail operator SNCF and the RATP public transport agency, whose workers are striking over a proposal to take away their special early retirement dispensation.

Via France 24 / Euronews 

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