Photos from the 11th day of French protest and general strike
France is gearing up for another wave of nationwide strikes and protests on Thursday, April 6, as labor unions and the government remain at a deadlock over the controversial pension bill. The reform, which raises the retirement age by two years to 64, has ignited widespread public outrage and triggered multiple rallies since January.
Despite ongoing talks with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, labor groups insist on the withdrawal of the legislation, a move that Borne has vehemently opposed. As the crisis persists, Laurent Berger, head of France's largest union CFDT, has called on workers to join the demonstrations across the country on Thursday.
With this being the 11th day of protests in the past three months, the upcoming marches will reveal whether the prolonged rallies are gaining traction or losing steam. While the Interior Ministry reported that the March 28 demonstrations drew smaller crowds than previous protests, the situation remains tense.
Although Paris public transport is expected to operate near-normal, train services may face disruptions, and the civil aviation authority has requested a 20% reduction in flights to cities such as Bordeaux and Marseille. In addition, 20% of primary school teachers are anticipated to join the strike, and garbage collectors plan to resume protests next week.
This wave of demonstrations marks the most significant challenge to President Emmanuel Macron's authority since the "Yellow Vest" uprising four years ago. Polls indicate that a majority of the French population opposes the pension legislation and the government's decision to force it through parliament without a vote.