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France has blocked ports on strike against welfare reform

by Ace Damon
France has blocked ports on strike against welfare reform

French workers' unions blocked ports and disrupted power production on Thursday to try to force President Emmanuel Macron to abandon a retirement review, but attendance at the marches and protests has declined again and the impact of strikes in the energy sector. transport proved weaker.

In the sixth round of national protests organized by the unions, the Ministry of the Interior counted only 187,000 people participating across the country, including 23,000 in Paris, compared with 452,000 last week, 56,000 in Paris.

The first major rally against social security reform took place on December 5, gathering more than 800,000 people from all over France.

Public sector strikes are now on the 43rd day, but the strikes have lost momentum since the Macron government made some concessions and strikers have come to face increasing financial pressure to get back to work.

Strike loses strength

Public data collected by Reuters show that the number of trains and subways in operation has increased and engagement with the strike has declined.

But the most radical union leaders reiterated that they would continue fighting until the government gave up its pension reform.

As the transport strike weakened, unions turned to blocking ports.

Last Saturday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe offered to withdraw plans to raise the retirement age if the Social Security budget can be otherwise balanced, imposing a split between radical unions and those focused only on reform.

"In democracy, everyone loses when the clashes continue," Roland Berger, leader of the moderated CFDT center, told BFM TV.

(tagsToTranslate) france (t) strike france (t) pension reform (t) pension reform in france (t) macron (t) emmanuel macron

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