French CGT union gives ultimatum to government to pull pension plan

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Passengers walk past a TGV train at Gare Montparnasse train station during a strike by all unions of French SNCF workers and the Paris transport network (RATP), as France faces its eleventh consecutive day of strikes against French government’s pensions reform plans, in Paris, France, December 15, 2019. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s CGT union threatened on Sunday to double its protests unless the government withdraws its pension reform proposal within the next week.

In a major overhaul of its pension scheme, the French government has proposed that people work two years longer to get a full pension, drawing a hostile response from trade unions.

“The CGT Federations of Railway, Transport, Mines and Energy, and Chemical Industries say that the Government has one week to announce the withdrawal of its project and the relaunch of real negotiations for the improvement of the current system,” they said in a statement

“If the Prime Minister persists in affirming that ‘the country is disturbed but not blocked’, the employees of the public and the private sector will draw the conclusion from this that they must redouble their mobilization, multiply calls to strike in all companies and further increase the level of protests.”

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told Le Parisien Dimanche weekly his door was open for talks and that he would meet unions next week.

France has been facing travel chaos since Dec 5. over Macron’s planned reform. Unions called on members to join mass protests on Tuesday.

Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Christina Fincher

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