French Labor Protests Cause Major Transport Headache

Thousands of French commuters will have to suffer another 24 hours packed trains and buses following the announcement by railway workers union that they will extend their open-ended strike to a third day to force President Nicolas Sarkozy to retract plans to extend employees retirement age to 62.

Some 1.2 million people joined the nationwide protest on Tuesday against the French government’s plan extending the retirement age to 62.

But Sarkozy remained firm over his decision, forcing railway workers to also extend their protests to a third day or possibly longer. Students and other workers groups blocked gasoline lines forcing many vehicles out of the streets.

The government said that the protest actions may end on Thursday, citing that only 25 percent of the transport workers were still on protest on Wednesday – compared to more than 45 percent a day earlier.

Many ruling conservatives believe that Sarkozy’s plan to raise the retirement age was only a way for the government to save massive amount of money, which were being used finance the country’s pension system.

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