- Title: Unionists, 'yellow vests' march in Paris against Macron's pension reform
- Date: 28th December 2019
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (DECEMBER 28, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF UNIONISTS BURNING FLARE AND CHANTING DURING PROTEST VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS GATHERED AHEAD OF MARCH (SOUNDBITE) (French) METRO TRAIN CONDUCTOR AND ASSISTANT GENERAL SECRETARY OF UNSA UNION FOR PARIS METRO AND RER TRANSPORT SERVICES, LAURENT DJEBALI, SAYING: "We know that today we are in a holiday period but the government needs to know that we will be ready for the return from holidays. So they can play for time now but at some point the clock is going to catch up. We're ready to hold for quite a while, some sectors voted to continue (the strikes) until the 11th (of January), which shows that we are very determined." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS MARCHING (SOUNDBITE) (French) ASSISTANT GENERAL SECRETARY OF SNES-FSU TEACHERS UNION, VALERIE SIPAHIMALANI, SAYING: "It (the pension reform bill) must be withdrawn, the retirement points system must be put aside. The retirement points system is simply a method which allows for the adjustment of a pensioner's retirement to the income wanted by the government. So it's not a secure method for the future and over time it will impoverish pensioners. We want a system where we can project ourselves in the future, that gives us assurances and allows for the maintaining of the purchasing power of pensioners, and so not the points system." VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATION (SOUNDBITE) (French) 'YELLOW VEST' PROTESTER, JAMES RASTENNO, SAYING: "You can feel it increasingly that there is contestation toward this government, it's huge and Macron wants to hide that. That's why he did everything to denigrate the 'yellow vests' and tried to make sure there wouldn't be this coming together but people have understood. After seeing us in the streets for over a year, they know very well that we are all mixed and we will always be here. As long as he's here we'll put up a fight against him, that's for sure." TRANSPORT UNIONISTS JUMPING AND CHANTING PROMINENT FIGURE OF 'YELLOW VEST' MOVEMENT, JEROME RODRIGUES, HOLDING ICE PACK AND SURROUNDED BY CROWD OF PROTESTERS AFTER LOSING HIS GLASS EYE AFTER BEING ALLEGEDLY ASSAULTED BY POLICE POLICE MARCHING NEXT TO PROTESTERS (SOUNDBITE) (French) 'YELLOW VEST' PROTESTERS WHO DID NOT GIVE HIS NAME SAYING: "Where are the human rights representatives? Where are all these people who are supposed to defend and represent justice? Where are they? We can see them, we can't hear them. Is this normal what they (the police) are doing to the people? Did we assault them? They are unworthy of being in the police. Normally they are supposed to be here to protect the population, this is all the opposite. They mutilated him (Jerome Rodrigues) and they try to take the last eye he has left? What nonsense! And what if he gets an infection in his eye with what just happened? They honestly have no respect, he's was maimed, he's a disabled person." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WITH FLARES VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS MARCHING
- Embargoed: 11th January 2020 14:58
- Keywords: Emmanuel Macron France French government labour unions pension reform protest retirement strikes yellow vests
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Lawmaking,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BBW28NB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Thousands of labour unionists and 'yellow vests' marched together in Paris on Saturday (December 28) against the French government's planned pension reform as nationwide strikes entered the 24th consecutive day.
Industrial action against President Emmanuel Macron's reforms has crippled train services in the capital over the past two weeks and has also affected other main Paris stations such as the Gare du Nord, which handles Eurostar services to London and Brussels, and the Gare de l'Est.
"We're ready to hold for quite a while, some sectors voted to continue (the strikes) until the 11th (of January), which shows that we are very determined," said metro conductor and transport union representative Laurent Djebali.
Defying union anger, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has said France would replace a convoluted system of more than 42 separate state-funded plans with a universal, points-based system that will apply to those entering the job market for the first time in 2022.
"We want a system where we can project ourselves in the future, that gives us assurances and allows for the maintaining of the purchasing power of pensioners, and so not the points system," said teacher's union representative Valerie Sipahimalani.
Philippe's office said it would restart talks with unions on pension reform on Jan. 7. Separate talks will also be held with teachers' and hospital workers' unions from Jan. 13, the government said.
Unions have already scheduled more demonstrations for Jan. 9 against the reforms, which would scrap special regimes for sectors like the railways and make people work to 64 to draw a full pension.
On the sidelines of Saturday's protest, a prominent figure of the 'yellow vest' movement Jerome Rodrigues was allegedly assaulted by police and lost his glass eye causing outrage among other protesters.
Rodrigues was injured in his right eye during a 'yellow vest' protest in January after being hit by a projectile fired by police.
(Production: Clotaire Achi and Pascale Antonie)
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