Gridlock in Paris on the seventh day of crippling strikes
Commuters today faced rush hour chaos in Paris after 285 miles of traffic jams formed in the city on the seventh day of paralyzing strike action throughout France.
Hundreds of thousands of angry protesters marched through French cities last week in an effort to increase pressure on the government to abolish hated pension reforms.
On Wednesday, the authorities in the Paris region measured approximately 285 miles of traffic jams and all but two of the city's metro lines were closed.
Many French commuters continue to express support for the strikes despite the chaos, fearing that their pensions will shrink under the plan of President Emmanuel Macron.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will present a series of proposals today that could include concessions on the reforms, such as a delay in their implementation.
During rush hour, people drive like a strike through all trade unions of the Paris transport network (RATP) and French SNCF employees entered the seventh consecutive day in Paris on 11 December
Commuter chaos at the Gare du Nord metro station in Paris on Wednesday morning as a strike by all trade unions of the Paris transport network (RATP) and French SNCF workers entered the seventh consecutive day
French police officers are participating in a demonstration by several police unions against the government's plans to overhaul the pension system outside the CESE building in Paris, where the French prime minister will reveal the details of the reform plan later today on December 11.
Pench police are taking part in a demonstration against government plans to revise the pension system in Paris on Wednesday
Trade unions fear that a new system, which replaces a national pension system with special privileges for some in the transport sector, will force people to work longer for smaller pension allocations.
The government says it will not raise the retirement age from the age of 62.
The official retirement age in France is 62 – one of the lowest among developed countries and fiercely defended by the work force.
The government insists that the reform, which brings together 42 pension schemes for employees in different sectors in one plan, makes the pension system fairer.
After months of negotiations and consultations, High Commissioner for Pensions Jean-Paul Delevoye, to whom Macron was in charge of running the reform project, announced the first recommendations in July – suggestions that made France's famous militant trade unions angry.
People enter the Gare du Nord metro station as a strike by all trade unions of the Paris transport network (RATP) and French SNCF employees entered the seventh consecutive day. All but two metro lines of the city remained closed on Wednesday
Commuters are waiting for a train at the Gare du Nord metro station in the middle of a strike by all the trade unions of the Paris transport network (RATP) and French SNCF employees
A railway platform at Gare de l & # 39; Est station is empty on Wednesday morning amid widespread strikes
People watch information screens on Wednesday at the Gare du Nord metro station, amid a trade union attack that has caused chaos
He proposes, among other things, the scrapping of the more affordable pension provisions of some professions – including public transport workers and utilities, sailors, notaries and executors of Paris Opera.
Delevoye said that the pension amount should no longer be calculated based on the 25 best-earned years of a private sector employee, or six months for civil servants, as is the case today.
Instead, all employees earn the same amount of pension & # 39; points & # 39; with the same value for every day they have worked during their careers.
It is still possible to retire at the age of 62, but employees may have to work longer if they want to collect the maximum number of points.
BFM television reported that, in the face of public anger, the government would make concessions to its proposed plan that would be announced after hours of meetings between Philippe and ministers in the early morning hours.
This would above all mean that the implementation of the changes would have to take place enormously.
People enter the Gare du Nord metro station as a strike by all unions of the Paris transport network (RATP) and French SNCF employees went to Paris for the seventh time in a row on Wednesday morning
Commuters are waiting for a train on Wednesday morning at the Gare du Nord metro station
People born before 1975 would retain their pensions as they are, after 1975 the new rules would apply to them from 2037 (when they turn 62) and newcomers to the labor market would work under the new regime from 2022, according to the information from BFM
There would also be a delay in the phasing out of the special early retirement provision for thousands of railway workers in France.
Philippe has warned that there are & # 39; no magic announcements & # 39; would be to stop the protests, which according to official estimates on Thursday brought around 339,000 people to the streets around France and about 800,000 people on the first day of the labor action.
They include teachers, hospital staff, firefighters, students, and members of the anti-government movement & # 39; yellow vests & # 39; who held weekly meetings during the past year that sometimes became violent.
Striking workers blocked seven of France's eight gas refineries on Tuesday, but the government said there was no impact on gas supplies.
Commuters try to stop in a full bus in the middle of a strike by all the unions of the transport network of Paris
People walk on the streets on Wednesday mornings as a strike by all trade unions of the Paris transport network (RATP) and French SNCF workers entered the seventh consecutive day in Paris
Public transport in the capital stopped practically on Wednesday, causing both commuters and tourists a lot of frustration.
Nine of the sixteen metro lines in Paris were offline, five offered fewer services and the only two lines without drivers remained according to their usual schedule, but with a high risk of congestion, according to operator RATP. There were also fewer buses.
Trains connecting Paris to the suburbs had minimal service and commuters desperate to get to work are squeezed into crowded wagons from the early hours.
The head of the national rail operator SNCF, Alain Krakovitch, warned the chaos that has also bumped high speed and international trains would probably be & # 39; until the end of the week & # 39; Get on. But some workers' leaders have vowed to fight until Christmas.
Those who oppose the reform are accusing former investment banker Macron of reversing France's precious but highly cherished welfare state.
Their labor action has revived memories of three-week strikes over pension reforms that paralyzed France in 1995, forcing the center-right government of the day to turn the course.
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