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Nationwide strike in France disrupts transport services, closes Eiffel tower

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PARIS, FRANCE - Unions workers from multi-sector demonstrate as they demand a pay rise and oppose the government’s proposed pension reforms, on September 29, 2022 in Paris, France. (Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt - Anadolu Agency)
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Sep 30, 2022 - 10:36 AM

PARIS (AA) – Transport services across France hit a snag and the Eiffel tower remained closed as thousands of employees went on strike Thursday to demand a pay rise and oppose the government’s proposed pension reforms.

Several sectors including schools, pharmacies, gas stations, railways, and buses are likely to be affected by the strike. The Eiffel Tower’s administration informed on Twitter that the monument is closed due to the strike but access to the esplanade will remain open and free of charge.

The nationwide strike was called by three major workers unions – CGT, FSU, and Solidaires – which want the Macron government to raise wages to a minimum of €2,000, impose work for 32 hours a week, and reduce the retirement age to 60 years.

The unions have organized around 200 demonstrations, processions and gatherings across the country under the slogan “raise wages, not the retirement age.”

President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to extend the retirement age from the current 62 years to 65 years is severely contested. The bill on pension reforms is scheduled to be discussed in the parliament next month.

Macron has reportedly said if the opposition tries to block the bill, he is willing to dissolve the assembly to call in fresh elections and postpone the reforms till next year.

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