Even with the intense cold and rain, Toulouse spent the 8th of March with the streets crowded against the pension reform.

The symbolic Article 7 of Emmanuel Macron’s Social Security Reform was widely approved in the Senate, overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, by the Republicans, the Centrist Union, the independents and the Macronist group. The article increases the retirement age from 62 to 64 and also obliges to pay the benefit for a longer period.

“I am very happy that the debates have allowed this vote to be reached”, reacted the Prime Minister of France, Elisabeth Borne, despite the feeling of apprehension in the face of the disapproval of the majority of French workers, who are still on the streets and on strike. The unionists promise even greater mobilizations on Saturday (11) and on the 15th (Wednesday), the day of the joint meeting, an important moment in the parliamentary calendar.

The current protests will certainly be reflected in the next elections against parties aligned with the Macron government. But they can have other consequences: “The silence of the President of the Republic constitutes a serious democratic problem that inevitably leads to a situation that can become explosive”, says the General Confederation of Labor, the country’s largest union. The CGT speaks of 3.5 million protesters in the streets, even with the rain and intense cold.

Disclosure of the CGT

turbulent procedure

Disclosure of the CGT

It took fifteen hours of debate and tumultuous sessions due to obstructions from the left for the Senate to approve in the first reading, at 24:10 in the morning of Wednesday, March 8, for Thursday, March 9, article 7 of the pension reform. The core of the proposed law that alters the financing of social security, which provides for the increase in the legal retirement age from 62 to 64 years and the extension of the contributory period, was widely voted by the Republicans (LR), by the centrist Union, by the Independents and the macronist group, with 201 votes in favor, 115 against and 29 abstentions.

The Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, also greeted with wrinkles on his forehead the “vote of responsibility of the Senate, which chose to follow the government”. The government loses more and more approval in society due to the unabated union mobilization, in addition to the fact that the vote is far from over.

The reform project continues to seek a secure majority in the National Assembly, where deputies have not managed to exceed the threshold of article 3 on the alternatives for financing the reform. Dussopt expressed his desire that “all articles of the text be debated and approved” by the Senate review deadline, which is Sunday, March 12 at midnight. To enter into force, the reform needs to pass through both Houses of Parliament by the next 26th.

The obstruction maneuver was successfully used by opposition deputies in the National Assembly — the article was not evaluated due to lack of time.

CGT Disclosure

high price to pay

CGT Disclosure

The government’s disregard for public opinion will come at a high cost for Macron, his party and allies. The vote faced images of streets packed with protesters, with riots of clashes between protesters and police in larger cities. Road, rail, river, sea and air transport was paralyzed as a result of blockades and worker pickets. Public offices, schools and universities were closed, as well as the streets are full of garbage without collection. Fuel refineries also suffer blockades of workers and truck drivers, which reduced the supply of gasoline in cities.

The blockade still persists in the four LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals and in the gas deposits, informed Fabrice Coudour, of the CGT (General Confederation of Labour, France’s largest union). “This will continue for the next few days because the goal is to push,” he said.

March 8 added a feminist layer to the protests. With wages 25% lower than men’s, part-time work hampered, unstable careers, glass ceiling imposed, the impact of a two-year increase in the legal retirement age would be even heavier for women.

Women already receive 40% less pensions than men. 4 out of 10 women retire with an incomplete pension, meaning they are twice as likely to have their pension reduced or to work until age 67.

The demonstrations began in the second half of January and continued. The government’s expectation was that the pressure of the protests would ease over time, but this week, the country saw almost two million French people on the streets. Opinion polls also point to broad support for the trade union movement against the reform.

Demonstrations in Paris, Toulousse, Montpellier, Marseille, Nantes, Dijon, Lyon, among other locations

Source: vermelho.org.br

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