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French unions plan anti-Macron strike on 9 October

media CGTleader Philippe Martinez REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

French trade unions have called a one-day general strike for 9 October against the "ideological policies" of President Emmanuel Macron. Pensioners's groups had already called protests on that day against the government's announcement that pensions will not be linked to inflation.

Two of France's major trade unions, the CGT and Force Ouvrière, have called for the strike, along with a students' union and a school students' union.

A third labour grouping, Solidaires, has backed the call in principle but will take its official decision next week.

In a statement, they condemned Macron's "ideological policies targeting the destruction of our social model, especially favouring an explosion of inequality and the destruction of collective rights".

Decisions like the government's announcement that pensions, housing benefit and family allowance will not keep pace with the rate of inflation will hurt "the weakest, the most vulnerable and most deprived once again", they said.

Another major union federation, the CFDT, has not joined the strike call.

The last day of action came as a long series of railworkers' strikes against Macron's changes to their status petered out.The CGT has called on railworkers to take action again on 18 September, when negotiations on a new agreement for the SNCF rail company begin.

"The problems have not been settled" at the company, CGT leader Philippe Martinez told RFI on Friday.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe started a new cycle of talks with unions and bosses on Wednesday.

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