Protests broke out across France Tuesday in the latest backlash against France’s reform plan to raise the country’s retirement age from 62 to 64. According to the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), a federation of trade unions in France, approximately 2.8 million people demonstrated across the country. Numbers in Paris, Toulouse and Marseille reached over 500,000 and 80,000 and 240,000, respectively.
CGT reported that turnout for the Tuesday protests was higher than that of the January 19 protests–the first day of nationwide demonstrations. The Tuesday protests caused disruption of different sections of commerce, including public transportation, schools and delivery services. According to CGT, 72 percent of French people oppose the reform.
The protests are in response to the January 10 announcement of a new pension reform by French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. According to the government, “The objective of the…plan is to balance and make the pension system fairer and more equitable.” A key part of the pension plan is the raise to pension eligibility age. As of now, the age for pension eligibility is 62. Under the pension reform, the age of eligibility will be raised to 64 by 2030. The reform would also require someone to have worked for 43 years to benefit from a full pension by 2027.
CGT called on protestors to continue mobilizing on February 7 and 11. CGT also urged government officials to withdraw the pension reform plan in exchange for a different plan that lowers the retirement age.