“This is certainly not the last day of the strike,” Sophie Binet, the new leader of the far-left CGT union, said at the blockade of an incinerator on the outskirts of Paris.
Macron must withdraw this law, «or he will not be able to govern the country,» he said.
“The incinerator workers, the garbage collectors, are on strike until further notice, until the pension reform is withdrawn,” said CGT unionist Loic Gefrotin, on pickets at another garbage treatment plant in the Parisian region, in Issy-les-Moulineaux.
Macron said he would arrange a meeting with the unions after the council’s decision to start working on other proposals, an initiative the CGT said would be short-lived if it was not ready to discuss withdrawing the pension reform.
“The country must keep moving forward, working and facing the challenges that await us,” Macron said at a news conference on Wednesday night.
Political observers have said widespread discontent over government reform could have longer-term repercussions, including a possible boost to the far right.
“I am not so optimistic about the decision of the Constitutional Council,” far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who opposes the pension legislation, told BFM TV. «But what do you want me to do? Burn cars? We will simply say to the French: Vote for the National Rally”.
Macron and his government argue that the law is essential to ensure that France’s generous pension system does not go bankrupt.
Unions say this can be done by other means, including taxing the rich more or making deeper changes to the pension system.