Europe 1 with AFP 7:01 p.m., February 07, 2023

At the launch of the demonstration in Paris against the pension reform, the general secretary of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, called for the multiplication and intensification of strikes as a form of protest.

For his part, the leader of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, explained that the unions will try to "do stronger next Saturday".

The secretary general of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, called on Tuesday for "harder, more numerous, more massive, and renewable strikes" if "the government persists in not listening", at the launch of the demonstration in Paris against the reform retirements.

"If the government persists in not listening, inevitably it will have to go up a notch", declared Philippe Martinez to the press, also showing himself optimistic on the participation in the third day of strikes and demonstrations at the call of the unions, with figures showing "that we are at the level of 19, if not more".



- Pension reform: Berger (CFDT) and Martinez (CGT) display their first disagreements

"The people, when they are so angry, it is worth listening to them and not insisting on an unjust and unjustified reform," he said.

At his side, Laurent Berger (CFDT) judged that it would be "a democratic madness to remain deaf" to the challenge of the reform.

Asked about the fact of hardening the mobilization, Laurent Berger explained that the unions will try to "do stronger next Saturday".

"Saturday we may decide to go up a notch"

"But harder, what does that mean? What is the democratic perspective of a country whose leaders would not listen to the biggest social mobilization of the last thirty years? (...) we will not fall into that, we want to show a dignified world of work. Those who are demonstrating today are the normal world of work, they are reasonable people, "he replied.

Laurent Berger again called on the Assembly to debate on Article 7 which provides for the postponement of the legal retirement age to 64, judging that "it would be madness" otherwise.

“Saturday we will perhaps decide to go up a notch with renewable strikes and blockages”, however affirmed at his side the president of the CFTC union Cyril Chabanier, also “reformist”.

He reported an estimated 15% drop in the number of protesters, stressing that "it's not a huge drop considering that some people are saving up for Saturday."

For Benoît Teste (FSU), "going up a notch will be from March 6, after the (school) holidays".

"Until then we must maintain a high level of mobilization," he said, while Frédéric Souillot (FO) welcomed an inter-union "united for a long time".