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French unions call Oct 9 strike against 'ideological' Macron policies

August 31, 2018 2:59 AM
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PARIS: Unions in France on Thursday called for a strike for Oct 9 in protest at the "ideological policies" of French President Emmanuel Macron's government.

The CGT and FO unions, as well as two national student unions, denounced "ideological policies targeting the destruction of our social model, favouring notably the explosion of inequality and the breaking of collective rights".

Macron, a 40-year-old former investment banker who swept to power last year promising to end decades of high unemployment and to reform the European Union, is trying to loosen French labour laws and reform the social security system.

The unions said in a joint statement that his policies would have an impact "once again on the weakest, the most insecure and most deprived".

Earlier this year rail workers staged rolling strikes against Macron's plan to overhaul France's heavily indebted state rail operator SNCF.

Planned reforms included denying job and pension guarantees to new hires, along with moves to turn the SNCF into a joint-stock company, which the union considered a first step toward privatisation.

Lawmakers approved the reforms in early June although two unions have pledged to strike again on Sept 18.


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