France is facing one of its biggest strikes in decades, as everyone from teachers, postal workers, firefighters and hospital staff took to the streets against proposed reforms to the pension system.
Flights, trains and buses are cancelled, and schools are closed after French workers last week scheduled a protest on 5 December against being forced to retire later or face reduced pensions. How long the strike will last is unclear, as it is termed as “unlimited”.
Workers’ unions are unhappy with President Emmanuel Macron‘s plans to simplify the existing pension system by making it a universal points-based pension system. France has a system of more than 40 different schemes, which Macron explains is unfair and too costly.
Under the new rules, the worker will receive a lower pension if they were self-employed for a while, or had health issues that prevented them from working for some period.
The strike is being backed by the Yellow Vest movement, which protests every weekend over the political elitism and high cost of living.