French police clashed with firefighters protesting in Paris against their working conditions and demanding more pay. Thousands of firefighters attended the protest in the French capital, asking for an increase of their hazard bonus, which has not changed since 1990. Police fired tear gas and hit some protesters with batons.
French unions say nearly 3.5 million people took to the streets Thursday in a nationwide general strike to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s deeply unpopular move to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. Macron forced the legislation through the French National Assembly last week, using a constitutional clause to bypass a parliamentary vote. Macron’s government survived a vote of no confidence Monday by just nine votes, but public anger shows no signs of abating, with France’s major trade unions planning another nationwide protest for Tuesday. “Not only is the government trying to do this pension reform that people see as fundamentally unfair, but they’re ignoring historically large protests even by French standards,” says journalist Cole Stranger from Marseille. His new guest essay in The New York Times is headlined “France Is Furious.”