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Can striking cops and transport freeze France?

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 6, 2019 - Duration: 01:52s

Can striking cops and transport freeze France?

Subway workers, bus drivers, teachers, police, and more: The protests over changes to France's pension system are grinding parts of the country to a halt.

The outcome may depend on how long it can hold public support.

Matthew Larotonda reports.

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Can striking cops and transport freeze France?

Bus drivers, doctors, teachers, police, and more: Union leaders are saying that the protests that are grinding much of France to a halt over changes to the country's pensions system will continue until the government backs down.

It's one of the biggest movements in decades.

Friday (December 6) morning rush hour was particularly brutal in the capital.

Striking subway staff caused over half of Paris' lines to shut down.

Commuters tried to use their cars instead, to be met with over 200 miles of traffic jams. This woman we met on Thursday, (December 5) is one of the train conductors.

She said she's doing it for her son.

We can't tell people to work their whole lives, she says.

This man is a uniformed customs officer.

He says his problem with President Emmanuel Macron's plan is that it doesn't take into account differences in hardships between professions.

His working week can stretch anywhere between 35 and 60 hours.

President Macron says he's trying to simplify the pension system, which has dozens of wildly different plans.

Rail workers, for example, can retire up to a decade earlier than the average person.

He wants to implement a points system where, for every euro contributed to the retirement plans, each person has equal rights.

This is a game of chicken, though.

Macron's two years in office have been hit hard by civil unrest.

But if the protests carry on too long, they'll lose public support.

Some commuters we spoke to on Friday said they weren't happy with being collateral damage.

The next big strike is planned for Tuesday (December 10).

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