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Paris transport unions push for 'dead day' next week

Pension reform movement continues with initiative to shut down bus, metro, and commuter lines

Cindi Cook   | 10.02.2020
Paris transport unions push for 'dead day' next week

PARIS

Four Paris public transport unions have called for a “dead day” – no bus, metro, or commuter lines – next week, and on Monday, a rail workers union joined the cause.

On Thursday, the UNSA umbrella union announced a nationwide cancellation of all metro, commuter, rail lines and bus routes. The next day, three RATP Paris public transport unions added their support. The action coincides with debate over a proposed pension reform bill in the National Assembly.

In a statement, the FO-Cheminots railway union said they "will do everything to extend this day of appeal to other federations and railway structures and reproduce the force of the strike which began on Dec. 5."

Rail workers initiated a strike that day throughout France in protest of the Macron government's proposed reform to the pension system, which included raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 (now dropped) and consolidating 42 different pension schemes into a single point-based system. Protesters say that the latter will force workers to labor longer for a lower payout.

What followed were two months of little-to-no rail service nationwide – including in the capital – severely hampering businesses and individuals during the busy holiday season and beyond.

A possible day of action, or what has been termed an "inter-professional day," may also be planned for Feb. 20.

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