Press TV, Paris
France’s ongoing general strike has entered its fourth week, surpassing the 1995 movement which forced the government to withdraw right-wing pension reforms.
The current strike is being provoked by an even more right-wing change to the pension system: the creation of the world’s first one-size-fits-all pension scheme, which includes a 2-year hike to the retirement age.
The administration of Emmanuel Macron has only negotiated with unions for three days, and have refused to sit down again until January 7th. That meant a ruined holiday season for millions, and increased support for the strikers, who are backed by over half the country.
Popular support is necessary, but the strike is resting on the shoulders of union members, who compose just 10% of France’s workers. The most responsibility is being put on unionized public transport workers, as public transport shutdowns have been the only serious daily lever of pressure.
Union leadership has led just three days of nationwide protests and strikes, as today’s nationwide protests were ignored by several unions. Many individual workers say they know the nation is counting on them.
With no chance to even negotiate, the strike seems certain to surpass the record of four weeks, set in 1986. A cold New Year’s Day celebration is just ahead, but many protesters are tightening their belt for a January of struggle.
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