Pension reform: the CFDT will participate in the consultations but there is no question of going back to 65, warns Berger

It’s always “niet”. The CFDT will participate in consultations with the government on pensions but “the dialogue will have to be open and loyal”, declares in the JDD the boss of the first French union, Laurent Berger, repeating his firm opposition to retirement at 65 years old.

“It is not for the CFDT to boycott the consultations with the government”, indicates the secretary general of the organization from the outset, before a week punctuated by an inter-union meeting on Monday and another with the Minister of Labor a few days later. “There are many subjects on which we have proposals such as the minimum contribution, hardship, the employment of seniors… But the 65s, we are going to fight them,” he added.

“Today, the age factor no longer makes much sense: employees leave on average at 63.1 years old. Going back to 65 is a brutal measure” and “there is no question of discussing with a gun to the head”, insisted Laurent Berger. For him, we must stop “taking the French for idiots. The risk of budgetary imbalance linked to the baby boom has been brought under control”.

“We must not confuse political approach and trade union action”

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announced Thursday that a consultation on pension reform would begin the following week with the social partners, with a view to a bill which must be adopted “before the end of winter”. A tight schedule, but still less than the hypothesis of an amendment to the Social Security budget, which had provoked an outcry from the unions.

This new consultation on pensions was favorably received by the unions, unanimously opposed to a “forced transition” this fall. However, they said they now expect the executive to show “loyalty”.

The CFDT will also continue to participate in the National Council for Refoundation (CNR), initiated by Emmanuel Macron. And “like all the other unions”, it will not take part in the march against the high cost of living on October 16, organized by LFI, the PS, EELV, and other organizations. “We must not confuse a political approach with trade union action”, according to Laurent Berger.

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