After a joint meeting on Friday morning, a group of unions issued a call for more mass protests and strikes around the country on Tuesday December 10th.
Those workers who had already declared 'rolling' strikes that began on Thursday – such as rail workers and air traffic controllers – were called on to keep their strikes going until Tuesday.
The unions who represent workers on the RATP Paris public transport network had already announced that their strike will continue until Monday, December 9th.
The joint meeting, attended by France's biggest unions, released a joint statement saying that “the ball was now in the government's court” to compromise over the proposed pension reforms.
Unions claim the reform, which the French government has not published yet, will leave millions of workers with lower pensions and having to work beyond the official retirement age of 62.
Retraites: la secrétaire confédérale de la CGT appelle à une nouvelle manifestation mardi à Paris pic.twitter.com/m7ZZ3F2ioc
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) December 6, 2019
Catherine Perret, Confederal Secretary of the CGT, said: “Everybody in the street on Tuesday, December 10th, for a new day… of strikes, actions and protests.
“The employees have made their point. It is a question of withdrawing the universal reform project by point and opening negotiations to improve the current system,” she said.
Some strike actions will continue between now and Tuesday, particularly in the transport sector.
French president Emmanuel Macron was described as “calm and determined' by an aide on Thursday.
But several ministers including health minister Agnes Buzyn and education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer were meeting union leaders for discussions over the proposed pension reforms.
More meetings will take place between ministers and unions on Monday.
Protests around France on Thursday – the first day of the strike – drew 800,000 people on to the streets, and the unions hope to repeat that turnout on Tuesday.
Despite some annoyance at the inconvenience, the strikers are still enjoying broad support from the public, with recent polls showing an average of 60 percent of French people supporting to strike.
Although one poll for Ifop found that 76 percent of respondents back the idea of pension reform, 64 percent do not trust the government, which widely seen as 'pro business', to pull it off.