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French retirement strikes swell

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French retirement strikes swell


Angry marches by French workers against later retirement have grown, shutting down public services across the country, by some accounts even more than the last time a national strike was called, less than three weeks ago. Union organisers in other sectors have warned that the latest strikes could be prolonged.

Both the Assemblée Nationale parliament and the Senate, however, have approved raising the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62, and raising eligibility for a full pension from 65 to 67.

Many Parisians determined to make it to work did so under their own steam. While bus and tram services in the capital were almost normal, Paris commuter and urban rail transport reported higher strike participation than in September.

Strikes were called at refineries and for state gas and electricity, so some companies and public buildings could face targeted power cuts.

The unions of the national carrier Air France called a 24-hour work halt, and were considering extending that.

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