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Support for huge general strike building in France

Ramin Mazaheri
Press TV, Paris

President Emmanuel Macron’s forced march of far-right economic reforms may produce France’s largest general strike since 1995. 

Despite widespread public opposition Macron is forcing through an unprecedented, universal, one-size-fits-all pension system, which includes a back-door raising of the retirement age by two years to 64. 

This week teachers’ unions said they will join public transport workers, truckers, airlines, postal workers, civil servants and others in a coordinated strike on December 5th.

Many workers, including public transport, have already committed to an unlimited strike. If workers choose to strike for only one day, then few see how Macron could be prevented from enacting the pension rollback as his party has a large majority in Parliament. 

Mainstream media and the government routinely portray the French system as overly complicated and too generous. Considering the vast differences between hard manual labor and well-heated office work, many say it should be obvious why no country has a one-size-fits-all pension system. The 1995 strike was also over right-wing retirement reform. 

If a historic strike does occur, the pension system rollback will be viewed as the spark and not as the only cause. Over the past decade France has enacted a raft of right-wing reforms on top of budget austerity cuts, which has produced economic stagnation, record inequality and constant protests. 

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