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France Unveils Pension Reforms, Setting Up Part 2 in Battle With Unions
Friday, 24 January 2020 19:45 WIB | GLOBAL |Global

After weeks of crippling transportation strikes, France™s government will formally unveil controversial pension reform legislation Friday.

Which will test its ability to overcome powerful union dissent and overhaul an indebted retirement system that is one of Europe™s most generous.

The pension reforms arguably are the most central and problematic of President Emmanuel Macron™s broader campaign promises to make the country more economically sustainable and business friendly. But it remains unclear whether he will succeed where previous governments have failed ” and angry voters may sanction the 42-year-old leader and his young Republic on the Move party in upcoming elections.  

œThe government thought it would have the reforms without a problem. That™s not what happened, said Jean Grosset, director of the Observatory of Social Dialogue at Paris, the research group at the Jean Jaures Foundation. He predicts the government™s success in pushing through meaningful reforms will come at a cost.

But sociologist Guy Groux said the government had emerged as the clear winner in a standoff that ultimately split unions and mobilized only a small fraction of the workforce.  

œI think this is the beginning of the end of the strikes, Groux said, adding the government œhas come out very well despite some concessions.

Hardline syndicates plan to counter the draft bill with a "black Friday" marked by massive street protests and metro shutdowns, echoing some of the worst days of a transportation strike that began in early December and is the longest in the country™s history.  

œFriday is the day or never, said Philippe Martinez, head of the hardline General Confederation of Labor, or CGT union, which wants the legislation scrapped.

Source : VOA

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