After lots of of hundreds of individuals took to the streets on Tuesday, each sides stood agency forward of a collection of conferences, with authorities officers having mentioned they’re prepared to negotiate.

Union leaders have vowed to proceed their motion into the brand new yr because the authorities defended its plan to forge the nation’s 42 pension schemes right into a single points-based system.

On Wednesday the leaders of the primary unions held conferences with the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe    and ministers in Paris with each side hoping the opposite can be ready to again down. 

On leaving the assembly the top of the us union Laurent Escure mentioned he was “not totally reassured” by what the PM mentioned and his members remained “determined”. 

While Philippe Martinez, the chief of the hardline CGT union accused President Emmanuel Macron of “not listening to the people on the streets”.

After talks with the PM Martinez reiterated his demand that the reform be scrapped and the present pensions system renegotiated.

He mentioned the federal government would make bulletins on Thursday.

There was maybe an indication of hope for the unions, who started their strikes on December fifth, earlier on Wednesday when the president’s workplace mentioned that Macron was “willing to improve” some parts, though he was decided to keep it up with the reform of the pensions system.

The official in the presidency mentioned on situation of anonymity that the president was even contemplating  “an improvement concerning the pivot age” of 64.

The so-called pivot age is a controversial a part of the pension reform as a result of if launched it will imply many employees would solely have the opportunity to retire on a full pension on the age of 64. They might nonetheless retire on the present authorized age of 62 however would face a lowered pension.

Unions, together with the extra reasonable CFDT, have described it as a pink line.

Disruption goes on

At a gathering late Tuesday, 4 unions together with the CGT determined to proceed their motion, which has wreaked havoc on public transport in Paris and different cities, hobbled regional and worldwide trains, and grounded planes on some strike days.

The unions urged their members to take “local actions” all through the Christmas holidays, and vowed there can be no letup until the reform plan is withdrawn.

Ecology Minister Elisabeth Borne condemned  on Wednesday what she described as “reprehensible” electrical energy cuts and street blockades, saying 5 clinics and a fireplace station have been left with out energy in Lyon on Tuesday.

Those accountable “will obviously be prosecuted,” she mentioned.

Strike organisers are hoping for a repeat of 1995, when the federal government to again down on pension reform after three weeks of metro and rail stoppages simply earlier than Christmas.

Commuters in Paris and different huge cities have borne the brunt of the transport stoppages up to now, however vacation journey plans are actually in danger.`

About 62 p.c of respondents to an opinion ballot for the RTL broadcaster mentioned they help the strike however 69 p.c mentioned they needed a Christmas “truce”.

Businesses are already feeling the affect, with trade associations reporting turnover losses of 30 to 60 p.c from a yr earlier, in a interval that’s often the busiest of the yr.

The strike is costing the financial system about €400 million a day, in accordance to a calculation by the CPME confederation of small and midsize enterprises.

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