French unions are seeking to reignite resistance to President Emmanuel Macron’s higher retirement age with what may be a final surge of nationwide protests and scattered strikes Tuesday.
A third of flights were canceled at Paris’ Orly Airport because of strikes, and about 10% of trains around France were disrupted. Some 250 marches, rallies and other actions are planned around the country on the 14th day of national protest since January over the pension reform, The Associated Press said.
Macron’s move to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 — and force the measure through parliament without a vote — inflamed public emotions and triggered some of France’s biggest demonstrations in years.
But the intensity of anger over the pension reform has ebbed since the last big protests on May 1, and since the measure became law in April. Some see Tuesday's actions as a last big show of opposition for the movement.
Macron says the reform was needed to finance the pension system as the population ages. Unions and left-wing opponents say the changes hurt poorer workers and have argued for higher taxes on the wealthy and employers instead.
Organizers of Tuesday's protests hope to rally support ahead of a possible parliamentary debate Thursday on a bill to repeal the new retirement age.
Legislators from centrist opposition group LIOT proposed the bill to put back the retirement age to 62. While Macron's centrist party doesn't have a majority in the National Assembly, it has allied with the conservative Republicans party to push back the opposition's efforts.