Pension reform in France: the mobilization of February 11 will be decisive

Demonstrations against the pension reform gathered across France 1.27 million participants according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, 2.8 million according to the CGT on January 31, 2023. © AP / Thibault Camus

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4 mins

This Saturday, February 11 in France will be the fourth day of mobilization against the pension reform.

After the drop in attendance during the demonstrations of February 7, the inter-union is betting on this meeting, the day after the adoption of article 1 of the bill in the Assembly, in an electric atmosphere.

In the longer term, what strategy for the continuation of the conflict?


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After a

drop in the number of strikers

, Tuesday February 7, on the third day of the strike, the inter-union called " 

to demonstrate even more massively on Saturday February 11

 ", a date which will be followed by another day of strike on Thursday February 16. next.

And the trade unions have already planned a “ 

big day

” on March 7, before a “

 special initiative

” the next day, March 8.

It is crucial for the unions to maintain pressure on the executive.

But in the face of inflation, many French people cannot afford to deprive themselves of a day's salary.

This is why the inter-union chose to organize a day of demonstration on a Saturday.

At the beginning of the week, RFI went to the procession of Boulogne-sur-Mer, a medium-sized town in Hauts-de-France where the scale of the mobilization was significant.

This weekend, the Boulonnais met a few days ago are bringing out their signs and accessories.

They want to sink our retreats, so I couldn't think of anything better than to put on a diver's suit to show that we were going to resist for a long time before they sank us.

In Boulogne-sur-Mer, in Pas-de-Calais, the fight continues

Amelie Beaucour

Harden the movement?

Following this mobilization, the inter-union should confirm the two dates for the month of March, after the school holidays.

But this time without calling a strike, while leaving the possibility to the federations which want it to decree two days of strike in their sector of activity.

Working more and earning less is NO!

This reform is deeply unfair and we will be mobilized until the withdrawal ✊ #NonALaReformeDesRetraites

– The CGT (@lacgtcommunique) February 8, 2023

Some unions, such as SUD Rail or the CGT, believe that it will be necessary to harden the movement with renewable strikes and blockages, while the CFDT favors citizen pressure.

Depending on the mobilization, this Saturday will be decisive for the rest of the conflict, at the risk of marking the break-up of the inter-union.

►Also read: 

Unions maintain pressure on the government

End of special diets

On the eve of this new day of mobilization, the debates continued in the National Assembly at very low speed.

The deputies are only at article 2 of the bill, relating to the index of seniors

This Friday, the lower house of Parliament adopted article 1 of the text, which provides for the gradual extinction of most special regimes, in particular at SNCF and RATP.

A tense meeting again, in a playground atmosphere, after several days of debate.

A deputy La France insoumise, Thomas Porte, was excluded from the hemicycle for two weeks, after having published a photo in which he appeared with his foot resting on a ball with the effigy of the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt.

What do you want ?

What do you want ?

You want to start over, you want my head like your colleague?

Pensions: rififi in the Assembly around the adoption of article 1

Pierrick Bonno

Personal attacks, outbursts, interventions sometimes unrelated to the subject... The majority still accuses the rebellious of obstructing with their thousands of amendments - there are still around 15,900 to be examined by February 17, knowing that work is suspended this weekend.

While the deputies have only one week left to examine the 19 remaining articles, the Nupes, meanwhile, promises to " 

fluidify the debate 

" in the coming days, by removing amendments to get to the heart of the matter: the postponement of the legal retirement age to 64 years.

The coming week therefore promises to be hectic, with the examination of the key point of the bill, article 7, which specifically endorses this postponement.

►Also read: 

Why young people are so mobilized against pension reform

In addition, the secretaries general of the CFDT and the CGT strongly replied, this Friday, to the words of the head of state calling not to block the country.

They, in turn, invite the government to show “ 



Some want to go towards renewable strikes and a blockage, precisely. 

If ever Emmanuel Macron is stubborn, well, it will take appropriate responses.

And me, if the unions decide on a total strike, on blocking the country, I will agree with them, because the one who is blocking the country is Emmanuel Macron.

Tempers flare in the inter-union, reactions to the Bourbon palace

Charlotte Urien Tomaka

The government displays serenity but remains attentive to the extent of the movement

How many will be on the street?

The ministers will observe the parades with a magnifying glass.

The whole challenge for the government is to find the right tone so as not to give the impression of minimizing the movement without showing feverishness.

Above all, no arrogance in the face of social mobilization, but a message tirelessly recalled by a minister: “ 

We expected demonstrations, strikes.

Saturday's mobilization will be integrated in one way or another into the parliamentary debate. 


Another member of the government takes note of the hostility of the French and declares: “ 

The pension reform is not going to become popular.

The question is the degree of mobilization.

As long as the strikes are punctual, it's not terrible. 


For the moment, a deputy pleads for caution.


We will observe if it rises crescendo and if it can hold

 ,” she said.

With particular vigilance on refineries, dockers, truckers, pilots, all those who can block the country.

Political Service,

Valérie Gas


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