French pension reform bill set for April 18
FRANCE – The French pension reform bill will be presented on April 18, the French government has confirmed, following talks with the unions last Friday night.
French social affairs minister Jean-Paul Faugere met unions and employers last Friday evening to discuss private sector pensions reform, and told them that labour minister Francois Fillon will present the bill to the social partners on April 18 and 22.
The unions, however, remain wary and are threatening further strike action at the end of May if the bill is not presented. Jean-Marie Toulisse of the Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail, the CFDT, is threatening strikes before this date if its proposals are not taken into consideration.
The pension-funding gap of 10 billion euros that will face the French government in 2020 is causing concern among the unions. They are adamant that the government must force an increase in contributions, but employers and ministers are refusing.
After announcing the bill, Fillon will then present the reform to the council of ministers on May 7.
Two weeks ago saw an estimated 500,000 people demonstrated in the streets of France to protest against the government’s planned reform of the pension system.