- Title: French PM meets unions over pension reform amid strike
- Date: 19th December 2019
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (DECEMBER 19, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** DOOR TO THE PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE FRENCH PRIME MINISTER EDOUARD PHILIPPE ARRIVING HEAD OF CGT UNION PHILIPPE MARTINEZ ARRIVING FOR MEETING ROUND TABLE WITH UNION REPRESENTATIVES AND MEMBERS OF THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING PHILIPPE VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WEARING SANTA HATS IN PARIS STREET PROTESTERS ON BASTILLE SQUARE VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS MARCHING UNDERWAY BANNER READING (French): "Against the points system for pension, against a drop in social rights." (SOUNDBITE) (French) NURSE AND PROTESTER, ETIENNE CHARENTON, SAYING: "We want to say here that the propositions made by the government are not acceptable, we have been asking from the start for this project to be pulled out and we are fighting to keep a solidarity pension scheme between generations and against the point system." PROTESTERS MARCHING WOMAN CHANTING IN LOUD SPEAKER VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATION TAKING PLACE (SOUNDBITE) (French) SCIENTIST AND PROTESTER, VERONIQUE BONTEMPS, SAYING: "I think this strike movement has concentrated around this pension reform but it was also made possible because of the change in the power structure, which started since the yellow vests movement launched last year." DEMONSTRATION UNDERWAY
- Embargoed: 2nd January 2020 16:11
- Keywords: Edouard Philippe France Macron national strike pension reform protests strike transport
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Lawmaking,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BAN7RYF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe met with union leaders on Thursday (December 19) to try to break a deadlock that has severely paralysed transport networks.
The hardline CGT union has said nothing short of a withdrawal of the reform would be acceptable.
The unions and French President Emmanuel Macron's government are each hoping to push the other to back down before Christmas, with the prospect that strikes over the holiday would alienate an increasingly frustrated public.
French unions oppose Macron's plans to streamline the Byzantine state pension system and prod people to work until 64, instead of the legal retirement age of 62.
The strikes began on December 5 and have wrought havoc on France's public transport networks.
The action escalated on Wednesday (December 18), when unions cut power to thousands of homes, companies and even the Bank of France to attempt to force the government's hand - a move which is illegal in French law.
(Production: Thierry Chiarello, Emilie Delwarde, Noemie Olive, Lucien Libert)
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