France’s rail unions have added to the government’s woes by calling for rolling strike action from October 12.
Other national strikes are also planned for that day.
French workers are angry at President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans to increase France’s retirement age from 60 to 62.
Rail unions had previously not taken part in industrial action against the move.
Bruno Duchemin, who represents the CFDT Union, said they could sit out no more:
“Everybody’s looking at us. That means that if we don’t go for it, the others will say ‘if the train workers aren’t out, we won’t get anywhere’.
“We would carry a heavy responsibility if we didn’t launch a rolling strike,” he argued. “All of France is looking at us. We always defend the rights of the French in the strongest manner.”
Street protests are growing in France.
Unions estimate that three million people took part in the most recent one on Saturday.
President Sarkozy is holding firm though and refuses to back down on his proposed reforms.