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France debates pension reform while unions mobilize

France debates pension reform while unions mobilize
3rd day of debate in National Assembly triggers 10th day of strikes nationwide

By Cindi Cook

PARIS (AA) - Multiple French unions on Thursday announced a 10th day of cross-professional mobilization across France to protest proposed pension reforms.

The protests will happen in Paris and most of the country's major cities, including Lyon, Marseille, and Grenoble, as the pension bill faces a third day of debate.

The unions General Confederation of Labour (CGT), FO, Solidaires, FSU, and several youth groups have all joined together, as in the previous nine days of mobilization, in a show of strength.

On its website, the CGT proclaimed, "The inter-union calls to demonstrate and strike on Thursday, Feb. 20. After two months of mobilization, the movement has the opportunity to further expand and strengthen."

Despite calls for a mass protest in Paris launching at 1.30 p.m. (1350GMT) from Montparnasse toward Place d'Italie, most mass transit – the locus of the protester's disruptions throughout December and January – is projected to run on schedule. Commuter lines outside of the city on the national rail service SNCF will remain normal, with only slight disruptions predicted for the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region.

There will also be a meeting of the unions at the close of the day to decide where to next turn their attention and efforts.

source: News Feed
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