The French government pushed into law the pension reforms which increased the age of employment from 62 to 64, in order to get the benefit of full pension. It was not acceptable to the workforce who is engaging in massive protests in order to get the government to withdraw reforms which are now designated as laws.
The French President Emmanuel Macron put into law pension reforms which increased the age of retirement from 62 to 64. France’s top constitutional body, known as the Constitutional Council paved the way for the reforms.
The opposition asked for a referendum but the Constitutional Council did not heed to it and rejected it. However, it pointed some features of the reform, which they thought of being flawed in legal terms. In response to the Council’s verdict, many people resorted to protests, which led to about 112 of them being detained.
The first series of protests were held over a period of twelve days since January this year. The French Unions are determined to keep opposing the reforms and are increasing the fellow workers to take to the same.
In defence of the reforms, Macron stated that they are necessary in order to ward off the pension system from being out of place. In March, the French government by making the use of a special constitutional privilege sought to impose the reforms without any vote or consensus, and were successful in doing so by designating them as laws.
According to the French Labour Minister Olivier Dussopt, the reforms are to be abided by the start of September.
The pension reforms are now a pension crisis
The government’s decision to impose the reforms without any say of the people was totally unacceptable to them. It fueled their bid to protest .
The Constitutional Council cooperated with the government, as mentioned before, hence the retirement age rose to 64, in turn, increasing the years for employment as a qualification for the maximum pension available. It further ruled out that the legislation was in par with the law.
The Constitution rejected six propositions, it did not take into account to pressure the employment agencies to publicise how many people into employment were above 55 years of age, along with the validity of a special contract for the elderly workforce.
Protestors against the pension reforms blocked the entries to some of the cities such as Rouen and Marseille, in the west and south of France respectively, as they slowed and halted the traffic.
The Prime Minister of France Elisabeth Borne was interrupted by the protesting mob as she visited a supermarket outside Paris. Though the Union leaders have stated that they will heed to the ruling of the Constitutional Council, they would keep up with the protests till the reforms are withdrawn from the law.
Right-wing political activist Marine Le Pen criticised the reforms and considered them as harsh and unfair. She further stated that it “will mark the definitive rupture between the French people and Emmanuel Macron”.
Going by the polls conducted over the reforms, majority of the people are not in favour of working till the age of 64 to have enjoy the maximum benefits from the pension schemes. According to the reforms, in total people are supposed to work for 43 years for acquiring full pension.
Both the parties, the government and the workers have ample arguments to support their stance. But, the negotiations are still to be held. Either the workers will have to take into account that the reforms would benefit the economy or the government will have to do so in terms of the well-being of the former. The conflict requires a good amount of attention if a conclusion is to be agreed upon that would be in the interest and for betterment as well.