1.12 million demonstrators in the street for the first day of mobilization

Demonstration at the call of the inter-union against the pension reform, in Marseille, January 19,…

Demonstration at the call of the inter-union against the pension reform, in Marseille, January 19, 2023. Demonstration at the call of the inter-union against the pension reform, in Marseille, January 19, 2023. THÉO GIACOMETTI/HANS LUCAS FOR “THE WORLD”

The balance of power is launched. Nine days after the presentation of the pension reform project by the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, the trade unions wanted to strike a blow from the first day of mobilization, Thursday, January 19. It’s done, since 1.12 million people demonstrated in France, including 80,000 in Paris, according to the Ministry of the Interior. The CGT has announced “more than 2 million” demonstrators gathered across the country and 400,000 in the capital.

Live : Strike of January 19: the Ministry of the Interior announces 1.12 million demonstrators; a new mobilization day is scheduled for January 31

The Head of State, Emmanuel Macron, assured from Barcelona that the government will continue its pension reform “with respect, spirit of dialogue, but determination and spirit of responsibility”. But the eight main organizations have already agreed on a new mobilization date, Tuesday, January 31, the day after the first day of examination of the bill in the National Assembly.

With all the trade union officials gathering behind a single banner, in particular those of the CFDT and the CGT, Laurent Berger and Philippe Martinez, the stakes were crucial for the eight trade union organisations, meeting for the first time in more than twelve years. “Mobilization is important”acknowledged, Thursday evening, on RTL, the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, adding that he “You have to listen to the messages in the processions this afternoon and this morning”.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Pension reform: exceptional union mobilization for a test day

“The start of something”

From Paris to Marseille, from Rennes to Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Lille, Toulouse and even in the overseas territories, the demonstrations were massive to demand the withdrawal of the reduction in the legal age of departure from 62 to 64 years promised by the government. In Paris, the gathering was so imposing that an alternate route had to be opened to relieve the Place de la République, which was crowded. There were teachers, firefighters, students, police, hospital staff but also private employees. All marched against the pension reform but not only. The increase in wages in the face of inflation, the sharing of wealth, the taxation of super profits and the overall questioning of the policy of Emmanuel Macron also occupied the conversations.

Read also: Strike of January 19: the number of demonstrators throughout France on the map

There was a lot of talk about the future in the processions. That of the pension system, reform and government. But above all about the future of all these public and private employees worried about having to work longer. In Rennes, Eliane Daguet, an accountant who, according to her calculations, will have to work an additional twenty-one months if the reform is passed, whispers: “This protest must be the start of something. We will have to return to the streets but the government knows that each day of mobilization costs us dearly. »

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