March 27, 2023

Galvanized by the success of their first mobilization against the pension reform, the unions are calling for new massive demonstrations on Tuesday, but the Prime Minister was firm on Sunday on the postponement of the retirement age which is “no longer negotiable “.

“It is no longer negotiable, retirement at 64 and the acceleration (of the extension of the contribution period, editor’s note) of the Touraine reform”, said Elisabeth Borne on franceinfo.

While the reform has been widely criticized for its impact on women, it is on the other hand open to a discussion on better use of the “education” and “maternity” terms obtained during their careers.

“As of today, there are many women who cannot use them to the full, we are analyzing the situation of these women”, she says, insisting again on the fact that “this reform protects the women”.

For their part, the eight main French unions hope for a mass effect to overcome an “unfair reform” and its flagship measure: the postponement of the legal age of departure from 62 to 64 years.

After their feat of January 19 (1.12 million demonstrators according to Beauvau, more than two million according to the organizers), they called “to mobilize even more massively on the 31st”.

– “Bar placed high” –

But after this successful first day, “the bar has been set high”, notes political scientist Dominique Andolfatto, and the unions “cannot afford a faux pas”.

“We are on track to be more numerous”, assures Céline Verzeletti, confederal secretary of the CGT. Hope reinforced by polls attesting to a growing rejection in public opinion.

“The population is very unfavorable to the project and this opinion tends to gain momentum”, also notes the number one of the CFDT, Laurent Berger. Who warns the executive: not taking into account the mobilizations “would be a fault”.

In response to this growing mistrust, the majority tries to do “pedagogy”.

In her constituency of Calvados, Elisabeth Borne deplored the “misinformation” on Saturday, while Secretary of State Marlène Schiappa and the leader of the Renaissance deputies, Aurore Bergé defended in the JDD a reform which “provides useful answers” to precarious women.

If the LFI Jean-Luc Mélenchon suggested to the unions to organize soon a “very big march” a weekend, it is from this Tuesday that the participation will be scrutinized in the many rallies (more than 200) planned. In Paris, the course must end at the Invalides, very close to the National Assembly, where the examination of the bill will have started Monday in committee.

– Repeated strikes –

More than 7,000 amendments have been tabled, mainly by the left, which intends to prolong the debates, while the right seeks to raise the stakes, aware that its votes will be crucial to adopt the reform. The government must also deal with its own majority, where many are calling for improvements and some are reluctant to vote for the text.

Tensions exacerbated by the risk of repeated strikes. On Tuesday, disruptions are expected in public transport, in particular at SNCF and RATP. Closings of classes, even schools, are also to be expected.

But the continuation of the movement remains uncertain. On the side of the CGT, some federations are pushing for a hardening. New strikes have already been announced in ports, refineries and power stations from February 6.

Among the railway workers, it will be 7 and 8, a prelude to a renewable notice “from mid-February”, warned the CGT and SUD. Right during the winter holidays.

But the CFDT prefers to “keep public opinion” on its side. “The level of trade union effectiveness is not measured by the level of concrete hassle for the citizens”, explains Mr. Berger, who also does not want to multiply the days of action “because many workers cannot stand on a rhythm so intense”.

“One or two additional demonstrations of force” will be enough, according to him, to make the executive listen to reason. It remains to convince the other union leaders, who will meet Tuesday evening at the headquarters of FO.

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