In Paris, traffic is almost collapsing: there are huge traffic jams on the roads, and thousands and thousands of people are trying to get to the few metro stations that still work. Paris transport workers went on strike to protest against the pension reform of President Emmanuel Macron, World News Report
The Paris metro has 16 lines. 10 of them are closed because of the strike.
People get to work as they can: who on bicycles or scooters, who on foot, who hopes for a taxi.
President Macron wants to introduce a single pension plan for all, as different professions now have their pensions.
Many are unhappy, including lawyers, airline employees and health workers, who are calling for strikes next Monday.
The three main transport unions are calling the strike a warning to President Macron.
Metro workers say that if the pension reform is approved, they will have to work for several more years, so for them, the right to early retirement will be canceled.
An early retirement agreement was made with the government decades ago, in compensation for the many hours these people have to spend underground.
On average, metro workers retire at 55, while all other French are entitled to a pension at 63.
The proposal to introduce a single pension system will affect many other professions, from seafarers to notaries and Opera singers, as their pensions will be lowered as a result.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that pension reform will benefit everyone.
“We are creating a fully universal system in which everyone will have the same rights, whether they are workers, shopkeepers, researchers, farmers, civil servants, doctors or businessmen,” he said.
The French government will submit a draft pension reform to Parliament in early 2020.