The withdrawal of the pivotal age at 64 from the pension reform is "a victory" but involves "a share of risk" and we will have to "go to practical work" to ensure the financial balance of the plan, underlines the leader of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, in an interview with the Journal du dimanche.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Saturday, in a letter to the social partners, "willing to withdraw from the bill the short-term measure (...) consisting of gradually converging from 2022 towards an age of equilibrium 64 years old in 2027 ".
The withdrawal of this measure was demanded by the reformist unions, led by the CFDT, who were also favorable to the establishment of a universal points pension scheme.
"The government has made a gesture, and no one can contest it. But this withdrawal is not a blank check. For the CFDT, the withdrawal of the pivotal age is a victory, but it is also a part of risk ", warns Mr. Berger in the JDD. "Now the work is starting and we will have to continue our action to assert our proposals and demands. We have lost precious time for a month", he regrets.
The social partners will have to find an agreement by the end of April on the financial balance of the system, without which the executive would regain control. A deadline considered "ambitious" by Mr. Berger, for whom "it will be necessary to move on to practical work" and who calls "on all those who will be around the table to guarantee the long-term balance of the pension system".
In terms of funding, he himself said he was ready to speak about "the question of the pension reserve fund, taking into account the arduousness to differentiate the retirement ages, the employment of seniors, who, it increases, will allow to garner additional resources, reallocation of contributions. "
In the event of failure, "this will mean that, collectively, we will not have been responsible enough, unable to find a compromise. But what Edouard Philippe says is that in the absence of solutions he will take control with the Parliament, not that the pivotal age will return, "said the union leader.
"We have gone from a logic of confrontation to a logic of dialogue" with the government. The accounting and short-term approach has been abandoned, "he rejoices, saying that this is a" victory for the CFDT, but also for Unsa and the CFTC ".
The unions opposed to the reform as a whole, CGT and FO at the head, are still calling for the withdrawal of the project after five weeks of social conflict, and have planned a new day of action on the 16th.
© 2020 AFP