French union calls for Christmas break in transport strike

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France’s CFDT union is opposed to transport strikes over the Christmas period but will call for new actions in January if the government does not drop a pension reform proposal that would encourage more years of work, its leader said on Sunday.

In a major overhaul of its pension scheme, the French government has proposed that people work two years longer to get a full pension, drawing a hostile response from trade unions who said they would step up strike action to force an about-face.

After 10 days of transport strike, the protest movement’s popularity remains strong, with 54% for and 30% against, according to an opinion survey published in Journal du Dimanche on Sunday.

The reform-minded CFDT had stayed out of the strike, which has caused travel chaos across the country since Dec. 5. But it said a “red line” had been crossed and called on members to join mass protests on Tuesday.

In contrast, hardline CGT union on Thursday had warned that there would be no break for Christmas unless the government dropped the whole pension reform plan.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told Le Parisien Dimanche he would meet unions next week and asked everyone to take responsibility ahead of Christmas.

Via France 24

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