France enters new week of strikes over pension changes

France starts strikes again

French transport strikes against a planned overhaul of the pension system entered their twelfth day Monday, as French president Emmanuel Macron’s government appeared determined to push ahead with its plans.

Authorities measured a record traffic jam of 391 miles in the morning in the Paris region, where only two Metro lines, using automated trains with no drivers, were fully running.

The other 14 metro lines were closed or only very partially running.

Most regional and national trains were at a standstill. International train routes also suffered disruptions.

Lorry drivers launched a separate protest movement on Monday, staging road blockages across France to demand better salaries and working conditions.

Mr Macron said last week he wants the government to “continue the work” on the pension changes, which include raising the retirement age to 64 and ending special privileges for some workers.

Major unions want to push the strike through Christmas as a new round of protests across France was planned for Tuesday.

The strikes involve mostly public sector workers, including train drivers, teachers and hospital employees, who fear they will have to work longer for lower pensions.

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