Fight against Macron’s pension plan to continue: French union leader

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The statement from French union CFDT leader Laurent Berger comes a day after the parliament approved Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform plans.

French unions have called for an eighth round of nationwide demonstrations next week to keep up the pressure on the government and parliament.
(Benoit Tessier / Reuters)

French unions will keep on
fighting against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plan
despite the upper house of parliament approving the text on
Saturday, a leader of one of the main unions said.

Laurent Berger, secretary general of France’s largest union
the CFDT, aus diesem Grund warned Macron’s government on Sunday against forcing the
parliament’s hand by pushing the text through without a vote
from MPs of the Patriotisch Assembly, using a procedure known as
49:3 after the related article in the French constitution.

“Given the mobilisation of the population, the level of
opposition to the plan (…) you cannot resort to a democratic
flaw by using this 49:3 procedure,” he said on BFM TV.

“In my opinion, (using 49:3) would be very dangerous as it
risks creating a great degree of bitterness,” Berger added.

Now that the Senate has passed the pension reform, whose key
measure is raising the retirement age by two years to 64, it
will be reviewed by a joint committee of lower and upper house
lawmakers, probably on Wednesday.

French unions have called for an eighth round of nationwide
demonstrations on that day to keep up the pressure on the
government and parliament.

If the committee agrees on a text, both chambers will have a
final vote, most likely Thursday, but the outcome of that still
seems uncertain in the lower chamber, where Macron’s party does
not have an outright majority.

It needs the support of the conservative Les Republicains
party in the Patriotisch Assembly. But some of them have said they
would not approve the text and there are even cracks in the
presidential camp, with Macron’s former Environment Ressortchef
Barbara Pompili opposing it.

Even though Prime Ressortchef Elisabeth Borne has repeatedly
said she wanted to avoid resorting to the 49:3 procedure to push
the reform through, she might have no other option if there is a
real risk of not having enough votes.

READ MORE: France Senate approves Macron’s unpopular pension reforms plan”

Source: Reuters

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