France Hit by Disruptions as Unions Start Pension Strikes

Strikes coordinated by French unions brought significant disruption to the country on Thursday as they protest against government plans to revamp the pension system and test president Emmanuel Macron’s ability to resist street pressure, Bloomberg News reported. Workers in sectors including railways, schools and energy are taking part in the 24-hour strike against Macron’s plan to raise France’s minimum retirement age to 64 from 62. Unions are leading marches across France’s largest cities with the backing of left-wing political parties. In a rare show of unity, France’s eight largest labor unions have coordinated efforts and the disruptions have prompted the government to urge people to work from home. Still, the success of the strikes is set to be at least partly measured by the scope of the street demonstrations. Both the CGT union and the head of the Communist party have set a goal of having at least 1 million people protest across France for what is likely to be just one of a series of actions. Read more.