Workers Rallying in Paris to Demand Pay Raise, Pension Amendments

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French riot police surround demonstrators who hold a placard with the message,
REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Workers from diverse industries took to the streets in Paris on Thursday to demand a pay raise and amendments to the pension legislation as food and energy prices continue to grow amid accelerating inflation, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

Participants included workers from such industries as energy, trade and manufacturing, as well as supporters of the Yellow Vests movement. The march started from a square located near the Montparnasse Station in the French capital’s southwest.

“We demand higher salaries because today people simply cannot live on minimum earnings … [French] President [Emannuel] Macron says that he is ready to negotiate the pension reform, but we do not want to retire at 65, as he suggests … we demand retirement at the age of 62,” a demonstrator from the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) labor union, one of the protest’s organizers, told Sputnik.

He said another industrial action is scheduled to take place on November 10.

French media do not expect any major impact on transport in Paris or other French cities. The France Bleu broadcaster reported that the demonstration this time lacked other major unions besides the CGT among its participants.

Last week, workers from key French industries staged a mass protest in Paris and hundreds of other locations across the country to push for higher salaries to keep pace with the soaring cost of living. The CGT said that walkouts continued at oil refineries and in the energy and nuclear sectors, on public transport, in the agri-food, banking and commerce industries, as well as in education and health care.

The walkout on October 18 was led by the CGT, the Workers’ Force, and Solidaires, as well as large unions of railroad and other transport workers, including CGT RATP, SUD-Rail and CGT-Cheminots. It resulted in disruptions on the Paris subway, as well as ground transport, commuter trains and international trains.

According to the French Interior Ministry, more than 100,000 people took part in the demonstrations across the country last week, including 13,000 in Paris.

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