C in the air – Retreats, day 1: the great mobilization in streaming – Replay France 5

C in the air – Retreats, day 1: the great mobilization in streaming – Replay France 5

“The million will be exceeded”. The secretary general of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, was satisfied today in the Parisian procession against the pension reform wanted by Emmanuel Macron. The images of a place of the Black Republic of the world made the rounds of the media, thus marking the act one of the great social mobilization which is announced. Numerous demonstrators, in the capital and in the provinces, strikes and disturbances at school and in transport: the united unions promise to make the government back down on this text. “The government has lost the first battle” concluded Jean-Luc Mélenchon, while some private sector employees participated in the movement.

But for its part, the executive does not consider itself defeated, quite the contrary, assuring that it will pass this “necessary” text of the law whatever the extent of the dispute in the street. “This reform will be adopted,” said the president of the Renaissance group in the Assembly, Aurore Bergé. However, it ensures that the government “will continue to reach out, negotiate and consult” with the protesters. But the members of the majority are protesting against the mobilization which is beginning: “a right to strike is not a right to block”, they believe.

This situation recalls in any case that of 1995. At the time, the government of Alain Juppé had to withdraw its pension reform text. This provided for an extension of the contribution period for civil servants, employees of EDF, SNCF, RATP and even the Post Office. The demonstrations had then reached heights in the street, up to two million French people had marched in unison. A team from C dans l’air went to find the major players in this conflict while the left and the unions in 2023 hope for the same scenario.

The reform wanted by the government of Elisabeth Borne actually contains several points of tension such as the end of the special regimes and the postponement of the retirement age to 64 years. If retirees with small pensions could come out winners with a minimum pension raised to 1200 euros gross, the losers would be especially young workers who will have to contribute 44 years instead of 43.

So, can social mobilization make the government give in? What had been the ingredients of 1995 for the street to win against Juppé? Who would be the real winners and the real ones from this new reform?


Bernard Vivier, director of the Higher Institute of Labor and specialist in social dialogue

– Nathalie Saint-Cricq, political columnist at France Télévisions

-Sophie Fay journalist at the newspaper Le Monde, specialist in transport issues

– Bernard Sananes, political scientist, president of the Elabe polling institute

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