PARIS ERUPTS – as Macron’s pension attack goes to French Parliament

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French workers demonstrate against Macron's attack on pensions

FRENCH unions brought the transport system to a halt again yesterday on ‘Black Monday’ the day the French parliament, the Assemblée nationale, began debating President Macron’s attack on workers’ pensions.

Tens of thousands spilled onto the streets of Paris. Trade unions marched with their banners, carrying red flares chanted slogans against Macron and the attack on pensions.

The mass demonstration met at 1.30pm at the Place de l’Opéra in the 9th arrondissement and marched towards the French parliament building on the other side of the river.

Meanwhile, hundreds of staff at French ski resorts went on strike this weekend in protest against Macron’s labour reforms, forcing runs to close in the Alps and the Pyrenees.

Workers held protests at about 40 resorts, with up to two-thirds of staff stopping work at some.

Unions say unemployment system reforms, set to be implemented on April 1st, will reduce benefits for seasonal workers.

They will have to work six months in a two-year period to qualify for unemployment payouts, against four months in the last 28 at present.

Protesters distributed flyers and chanted by ski chairlifts.

In total there were around 50 protests organised by trade unions CGT and FO across France, from the Alps to the Pyrenees.

In Moûtiers, in the Savoie region, or in Deux-Alpes in Isère near Lyon, at least 200 seasonal workers took part in the protests.

In Lioran, Cantal, only 13 out of 14 stations are open this February.

Stéphanie Tantot said: ‘We are wearing signs that read “Seasonal workers going extinct.” ’

She sells day tickets in a ski station and fears that her allowance may be cut in half.

Over half of French seasonal workers are in the restaurant, housing or leisure sectors, mostly on holiday resorts.

Saturday was also the 66th consecutive weekend of Yellow Vest protests demanding the resignation of President Macron.

The police again attacked protesters on the streets of Paris with tear gas, charging them with batons.

There was also a thousand-strong march through Rennes which was attacked by police using tear gas and blasting the protesters with water cannons.

Yellow Vest protesters blocked roads and set fires while police fired rubber bullets.

The movement is spreading around Europe with Spanish farmers putting on yellow vests and taking to the streets as well.