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Open-ended strikes against retirement reforms declared in France

10-12-2010 14:14 BJT

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French unions have upped the ante against the government's controversial retirement reforms, by declaring open-ended strikes. Train drivers in Paris were the first to go on strike, with other sectors expected to follow suit over coming days.

The Senate is expected to pass the reforms by the end of this week. The latest strikes follow demonstrations last month that involved up to a million protesters. The government says its reforms will address gaping budget deficits and sluggish economic growth.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has refused to back down on the main points of his pension reform, which include raising the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62 by 2018. However, unions argue the cost-cutting axe is coming down too hard on workers.

Jean-Claude Mailly, Head of Force Ouvriere Trade Union, said, "We simply cannot accept these pension reforms proposed by the government. Citizens do not agree, workers do not agree, and if you look at the polls, more than 70 percent of the French men and women are against this reform. Given this, we hope that it will not be passed by the Senate. Tomorrow we are expecting a strong day, in terms of of mobilization and strikes."

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV

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