- Title: FRANCE: Union boss issues strike warning over French pension reforms
- Date: 8th October 2010
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (OCTOBER 7, 2010) (REUTERS) **CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY** NEWS CONFERENCE WITH HEAD OF CGT UNION, BERNARD THIBAULT PHOTOGRAPHER AT WORK THIBAULT TALKING DURING NEWS CONFERENCE CAMERAMAN AT WORK VARIOUS OF THIBAULT TALKING TO JOURNALISTS JOURNALISTS AT WORK (SOUNDBITE) (French) BERNARD THIBAULT, HEAD OF CGT UNION, SAYING: "He (President Sarkozy) is understanding that he is in great difficulty, that one needs to put oil in the wheels, but we have to say things as they are: there will maybe be some modifications for a small portion of workers but we won't be told that by improving the text for a small portion of workers it would mean a good reform for the rest of the workers. It is still a bad reform for the majority of the workers and this is why we will continue to mobilise ourselves on October 12." THIBAULT TALKING TO JOURNALISTS
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2010 13:00
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA4HSGIM9XFLCJKPSZKS3JAPQS2
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: The leader of one of France's major trades unions on Thursday (October 7) rejected overtures by President Nicolas Sarkozy ahead of major strikes next week that threaten a range of public services.
Industrial action looked set to spread with workers in the energy sector voting for rolling strikes, following similar moves by rail and underground workers earlier this week.
In Marseille, striking port workers, who have already forced the closure of two large refineries in the south of the country, staged a symbolic blockade of one of the country's largest oil depots in a bid to give the government a brief taste of what life would be like without petrol.
In Paris, Bernard Thibault, the leader of the CGT trades union rejected as insufficient plans to ease the burden of pension reforms on women, a concession by Sarkozy ahead of the strikes.
"It is still a bad reform for the majority of the workers and this is why we will continue to mobilise ourselves on October 12th," Thibault said.
A day after railway unions called the rolling strikes, Sarkozy's office issued a statement saying the change to the reform bill currently before parliament would cost 3.4 billion euros.
Sarkozy has vowed not to back down on the essentials of the pension bill, chief among them a gradual increase in the minimum retirement age to 62 from 60 by 2018. The age at which women can retire on a full pension is set to rise to 67 from 65 by 2023.
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