One of the Demonstrations against Pension Attacks in France last Week
Many teachers were on strike in France last week against the government's attacks on pension rights
The right wing Sarkozy government - like its counterparts across the world - is trying to tackle the budget deficit caused by the economic crisis by making public serivces and working people pay. In France the government is planning to raise the age at which workers can claim a pension to 67 and the retirement age to 62.
The unions say that 3 million people took part in protest demonstrations across France even more than turned out at the huge demonstrations on the 7th Septmber. Many schools were closed and much public transport did not function. Unions say that the reforms will hit hardest at those least able to afford it such as part time workers and people who have been unemployed so have been unable to make the 41.5 years of contributions needed to claim a full pension. They are calling on the government to tax bonuses and the highest paid people instead of attacking the poorest in society.