FRANCE - Transport systems returned to normal as striking rail workers returned to work today, while unions remained divided over the success of the industrial action.
Rail and metro services were severely disrupted as union members walked out over government proposals to reform the ‘régimes spéciaux’ or preferential pensions benefits for public sector workers.
The union, Force Ouvrière (FO), said it had entered into negotiations only after the Sarkozy government had backed down over insisting strike action was to be halted before discussions could begin.
FO said: “To impose such a perquisite revealed an incredible lack of wisdom for those who should know a little about social relations.”
Sud Rail released a statement last night criticising other unions of caving to pressure and calling for unity: “Strikers know we can attain a lot if we stick together…broken unity makes the situation much more difficult.”
The CGT union said the government had realised it had to include employee groups if it wanted to move pension discussions forward.
The CGT said: “When talking about retirement, all workers are involved. The battle to save and improve the retirement system has started once again and must be pushed to the forefront.”
Strikes hit France in the evening of 13 November.
Under the current ‘régimes spéciaux’ terms, workers are eligible to retire after 37.5 years as opposed to 40 for other public and private sector workers.
At present, the French economy subsidises the régimes spéciaux by around €5bn (US$7.3bn) as worker contributions do not meet fund liabilities.
The registration deadline for the Workplace Savings & Benefits Awards 2019 is today.
This week's top stories were the DWP giving the green light to CDC and TPR granting extensions for 11 master trust authorisation applications.
Susan Martin says building strong foundations for business are the only way forward as the pensions industry is radically shaken up
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has granted Now Pensions a six-week extension for its master trust authorisation application after the 31 March deadline, PP can reveal.