French transport employees strike over pension reforms

Image credit: Willy Barton

French transport workers, represented by the Confédération Générale du Travail (General Confederation of Labour (GCT)), are undertaking strike action today (17 December 2019) in an ongoing dispute regarding pension reforms.

This is the 13th day of strike action in protest of French prime minister Edouard Philippe’s November 2019 announcements in relation to a new Pension Bill.

The new plans will see the statutory retirement age in France increased from 62 to 64 years old, with a state pension up to €1,000 (£845) per month. The new calculations will be based on a universal points system, with only employees who have worked a full career receiving the maximum amount. 

CGT has asked for the state pension amount to be reevaluated and increased by an additional €800 (£675) to €1,800 (£1,520). The union is also calling for the government to take into account employees who retire before they are 60 years old in both the private and public sectors.

Employees born before 1975 will not be affected by the changes. For employees born after this point, the state pension will be calculated using a two tier system; they will receive the full rate for any part of their career that takes place before 2025, and the points system will then apply for work following that date.

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The protests also concern the minister of economy Bruno Le Maire’s decision not to re-evaluate France’s minimum wage above inflation; the CGT wants minimum salaries increased to recognise an employee’s qualifications, and to address the fact that pension savings are directly affected by wage level during an individual’s career.

Neither the CGT nor the French government was available for comment at the time of publication.