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Trains halted, schools shut in France as unions fight against pension reform


PARIS, March 8 ------ French unions stepped up their fight against President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform plans as most trains came to a halt, fuel deliveries were disrupted and schools shut in a sixth day of nationwide strikes.


This is a critical time for the government, which is hoping the reform can be adopted by parliament by the end of March. To increase pressure on lawmakers not to raise the pension age by two years to 64, unions said there would be rolling strikes this time, which could go on for days, including at oil refineries and railways. "We will continue until the reform is withdrawn," the head of FO union, Frédéric Souillot, told RTL radio.


Garbage collectors and truck drivers joined the strike, in a sign the protests were spreading to more sectors. Like in previous strikes, power production was reduced, fuel deliveries and refining were disrupted and many teachers walked off the job. Rallies are planned across France after more than 1.27 million people took part in previous protests on Jan. 31. There were reports of students blocking schools while BFM TV showed footage of workers abandoning cars on the side of the road near Amiens in northern France as others blocked access to an industrial zone.


"Together...let's bring France to a halt!," the country's main unions said in a joint statement.


Source: gmanetwork.com

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