We must bring Macron down

After weeks of targeted strikes, French workers launch an indefinite strike against pension reforms. French President Emmanuel Macron refuses to alter his plans to reform the country's beloved pension system. In an effort to compel his hand last week, unions across France raised the stakes and launched an indefinite strike.


anak hutan1

a year ago | 2 min read

The French government has so far refused to change course despite weeks of targeted strikes by workers against President Emmanuel Macron's plans to raise the national retirement age and reform the country's beloved pension system. For that reason associations across various enterprises raised the risk last week, sending off an endless strike until laborers' requests are met. "We have no choice, we must make Macron back down, make the employers back down," said Eric Challal of the Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques (SUD) Railway Union. We have this chance to fight together as workers because wages are too low, prices are skyrocketing, the threat of war is real, and there is no shortage of money in this society. Brandon Jourdan, a video journalist and contributor to TRNN, covers the most recent escalation of strike actions in France from the streets of Paris.

This video is part of a special Workers of the World series that looks at the crisis with Europe's high cost of living.

Brandon Jourdan, the storyteller: The ongoing strike wave in France against President Emmanuel Macron's pension reforms entered a new phase on March 7, 2023. The government claimed that 1.28 million people participated in strikes, while the unions estimated that 3.5 million people took part in the largest single day of action in decades. The sixth day of national strikes in two months was the most extensive according to either estimate. After the main day of action, tactics have escalated toward continuous strikes in many key sectors because the national strikes have not prevented pension reforms from moving forward.

TotalEnergies: Eric Sellini, General Confederation of Labor (CGT). It is abundantly clear that the government is still carrying out its plan. The presentation was made in the National Assembly; it is now in the Senate. We have the impression that, regardless, Macron is not ready to give up immediately. In this way, that is the reason every one of the associations, and specifically the CGT, we chose to take the preparation up a score and today to check the start of a significant stage as far as preparation which is the start of the ceaseless strike in many organizations the nation over.

Brandon Jourdan (storyteller): A general assembly of railway workers at Gare du Nord was held prior to the main rally in Paris to decide whether or not to continue their strike beyond March 7.

SUD Railway Union's Eric Challal, speaking before the assembly: We haven't seen the strength of workers on this scale in a long time. We also know that because we have all witnessed what transpired in Parliament and the Senate, as well as all of the parliamentary motion pictures, we should not anticipate anything different. A new phase of the movement—the strike—the continuous strike—begins here.

Therefore, I propose that we continue the strike. We accomplished this by holding a general assembly here at 11:00 a.m. Therefore, the general assembly will be reconvened and the strike will continue through tomorrow, the eighth, at 11:00 a.m.


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