Pension reform in France: mobilization on the rise, unions ready to harden the movement

Demonstration against the pension reform project in Paris, Saturday February 11, 2023. © REUTERS - YVES HERMAN

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For the fourth day of action against the pension reform project, organized this Saturday, February 11, the French responded to the call of the unions.

The latter said they were ready to “

bring the country to a halt



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For this first mobilization organized on a Saturday, the CGT has identified more than 2.5 million demonstrators in France to

protest against the flagship measure of the reform

: the decline in the legal retirement age from 62 to 64 years.

The Ministry of the Interior announced for its part the figure of 963,000 demonstrators on the national territory.

This is more than the last rally on Tuesday, but less than the first two acts of the movement. 

Demonstration against the pension reform project in Paris, Saturday February 11, 2023. © RFI-Anne Morzine, Russian service

The figure put forward by the trade union center is below that of January 31 (2.8 million), but higher than those of January 19 and February 7 (around 2 million).

In Clermont-Ferrand, the unions notably claimed 50,000 participants against 8,000 according to the prefecture.

In Toulouse, the CGT put forward a record number of "

more than

100,000 demonstrators

", the prefecture 25,000. In Nantes, they were 23,000 according to the police, 70,000 according to the unions.

Finally, according to the CGT, more than 500,000 demonstrators - against 400,000 on Tuesday - marched in the streets of Paris against 93,000 according to the Ministry of the Interior.

Harden the movement

Before the start of the Paris demonstration, the leaders of the intersyndicale confirmed their call for two new days of mobilization, February 16 and March 7, and said they were ready to "harden the movement" and "put the country at


. 'stop

 ' if nothing moves.

[Inter-union press release] The inter-union is ready to toughen up the movement #NonALaReformeDesRetraites #manif11fevrier

– The CGT (@lacgtcommunique) February 11, 2023

There was no strike at SNCF or RATP on Saturday, but one in two flights was canceled at Orly due to an unforeseen movement by air traffic controllers.

However, the inter-union at the RATP has already called for the first renewable strike of the movement, from March 7, the date on which the pension reform project must arrive in the Senate.

The CGT railwaymen plans to do the same.

The unions are also thinking about actions for March 8, women's rights day, “

to highlight the major social injustice of this reform


A few incidents took place today on the sidelines of the parade in Paris.

Eight people were arrested, according to a provisional report from the Paris Prefecture.

In Rennes, where 40,000 people mobilized (25,500 according to the police), clashes broke out between demonstrators and the police. 

► To read also: 

Why young people are so mobilized against pension reform





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