Mass Marches by French Unions Serve as Macron's First Litmus Test

Published April 19th, 2018 - 02:13 GMT
French President Emmanuel Macron faces his first test from the trade unions. (AFP/File Photo)
French President Emmanuel Macron faces his first test from the trade unions. (AFP/File Photo)

One of France's main unions is on Thursday initiating mass marches across the country -- on top of strikes already ongoing in several sectors -- to protest a number of reforms suggested by French President Emmanuel Macron and his government.

The country’s largest labor union, the CGT, has urged Macron opponents, including students angered by plans to make university admissions more selective as well as workers from all sectors, to unite in a show of force.

Several demonstrations have been scheduled for cities across France, including a march through Paris that will leave Montparnasse in the city's south at 2:00 pm (1200 GMT) before making its way to Place d'Italie towards the east.

France is already shaken by what has been called the biggest wave of industrial unrest since Macron's election last May, with rolling railway strikes, angry students blocking universities, and striking staff at Air France and in the electricity and energy sectors.

 

 

Seven main public sector trade unions have called for a one-day strike on May 22 to protest Macron's plans to reform the eurozone's second-largest economy.

Macron insisted in interviews last week, ahead of his one-year anniversary in office, that he was elected on a mandate for change and that he is determined to see his reforms through.

"I'm doing what I said I would," he told French broadcaster TF1.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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