(Paris) The eight main unions in France have agreed on a new day of strikes and demonstrations against the pension reform, on Thursday February 16, the unions intending to maintain pressure on the government of Emmanuel Macron after the demonstration announced on Saturday .
“The inter-union meeting today decided on a national day of inter-professional action on February 16,” Dominique Corona, deputy secretary general of Unsa, told AFP on Wednesday on behalf of the inter-union.
The third day of mobilization, Tuesday, brought together 757,000 people according to the Ministry of the Interior, “nearly two million” according to the organizers, figures below the previous days, January 19 and 31.
A fourth day is scheduled for Saturday throughout France. The Parisian demonstration will start on Saturday at 1 p.m. local time from Place de la République towards Place de la Nation, according to the CGT.
The unions hope for a stronger mobilization on Saturday, presented as the mobilization of those who could not come to demonstrate during the previous days of action, carried out during the week.
Interviewed on Wednesday on the BFMTV channel, the secretary general of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, said he hoped for a “very strong mobilization” on Saturday and called on everyone to “go and demonstrate massively with the whole family”.
“If the government persists on its current path, it is making a democratic mistake for which it will pay dearly. “That he will pay dearly”, that’s not called a threat, that’s called a collective warning,” he added.
His CGT counterpart, Philippe Martinez, for his part estimated on LCI that it was necessary to “raise the tone” in front of the executive and that there was “need to decide on strikes, that’s what the refiners, that’s what railway workers do, others are thinking about it too”.
“Because we have no choice. Faced with a government that does not listen to anything, a President of the Republic who is convinced that he is right on his own, we must show more determination,” he said.
The first two days of demonstrations on January 19 and 31 had each time brought together more than a million protesters according to the police, more than two million according to the organizers, against this unpopular project according to the polls and whose flagship measure is a setback. retirement age from 62 to 64, in a country of some 67 million people.
The strikers of the TotalEnergies group renewed their movement on Wednesday morning against the government’s pension reform project in most of the group’s refineries, according to the CGT union. And train traffic remains disrupted.