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French unions call fresh strikes in June

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French unions call fresh strikes in June
A protester holds a placard reading "In spring, rage blossoms" as he takes part in a demonstration on May Day (Labour Day) in Toulouse, southwestern France (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)

French unions have called another day of strikes against pension reform, leaders announced on Tuesday.

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The eight union federations are planning a further 'day of strikes and action' on Tuesday, June 6th, union leaders confirmed on Tuesday morning.

After thousands of people took to the streets on May Day, union leaders met on Tuesday to discuss the future of mobilisation against pension reform.

Last month, French president Emmanuel Macron signed a law to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, despite months of strikes against the bill.

The decision to call for a 14th day of action comes just one day ahead of another crucial milestone for pension reform. The Constitutional Council will announce  on Wednesday whether or not they will grant a second request for a referendum. The first request was rejected on April 14th.

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France's Interior ministry said that 782,000 people took to the streets around France on May Day, with the CGT union claiming 2.3 million protesters.

The interior ministry's figures show the largest May Day turnout in France since 2002 - the year when the country was poised for a presidential election second round between Jacques Chirac and Front National leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Nationwide 540 people were arrested during Monday's demonstrations, including 305 in Paris, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

According to France Bleu, the date of June 6th was chosen to come two days ahead of June 8th - when the centrist Liot alliance will present a new bill to repeal the pension reform law.

The unions said that while they would attend new discussions with cabinet ministers on issues ranging from boosting employment among older people to reforming vocational schools, they would "reiterate their refusal of the pensions reform". 

"There is deep defiance and dialogue can only resume if the government shows it is finally willing to take the unions' positions into account," they added.

You can keep up with the latest strike news HERE

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