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All 9 French unions unite in public sector strike

Monday, October 09, 2017 - 01:30

France is braced for a public sector strike expected to affect schools, hospitals and the air traffic network on Tuesday in opposition to government reforms. As Kate King reports, the protest over plans to axe 120,000 jobs and reduce sick leave compensation will be the first time in a decade that all nine unions representing 5.4 million public workers will unite behind a protest call.

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Not for ten years have all nine of France's worker unions been united in their call for a protest. No surprises then that country is bracing for disruption. (SOUNDBITE) (French) GENERAL SECRETARY OF CGT UNION, PHILIPPE MARTINEZ, SAYING: "Why's it going to work tomorrow? Because all the unions, are calling their members out to protest. We're more effective when we're united than when we're divided." Tuesday's nation-wide strike is expected to affect schools, hospitals and air travel. It's over plans to axe 120,000 jobs and reduce sick leave compensation . French President Emmanuel Macron is struggling to shake-off criticism that he's a 'President of the Rich' after he scrapped a wealth tax - and pushed through controversial labour laws. Now public sector workers say they're bearing the brunt of his plans to re-shape the country's economy. But until now, Macron has only had to face the response from divided unions. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARKET ANALYST AT CMC MARKETS, DAVID MADDEN, SAYING: "It's certainly going to be difficult. President Macron hasn't had the best run in terms of popularity and he hasn't been in power particularly long and just because he cleared the first hurdle, is no guarantee for the second hurdle." The unions represent 5.4 million civil servants. They're being encouraged to take part in any of the 130 marches taking place across the country, with the hope that a united voice - will be louder than many.

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All 9 French unions unite in public sector strike

Monday, October 09, 2017 - 01:30