According to police figures, Tuesday’s nationwide protests marked the largest single-day union-backed demonstration in France in thirty years. Some 1.272 million turned out to the streets. That’s more than the already-impressive January 19 turnout, it’s more than any of the single-day peaks of the 2010 and 2003 movements over retirement reforms — it even topped the height of the legendary 1995 protests.
And there’s more to come. The united union coalition has called for two further days of strikes and protest: Tuesday, February 7, and Saturday, February 11. “Until then,” the coalition has also called on the public to “multiply actions, initiatives, meetings, and general assemblies across the country, in workplaces [and] at places of study, including through strikes.”
After two successful national mobilizations, the movement seems to be entering a new phase. Public opinion is clearly on its side — and yet, the government isn’t budging on the proposed hike in the retirement eligibility age from sixty-two to sixty-four. Clearly, it’s going to take more for organized labor to win this battle.
Clearly, the strike calls over pension reform have resonated beyond organized labor’s traditional bastions of support in the public sector: namely, schools, health services, and transit networks (the national SNCF rail company and the Paris metro network). Workers in all these sectors have walked off the jobs, but so have others in the private sector. The General Confederation of Labour (CGT) has shared a list of strikes on January 31 that illustrates this point: five thousand strikers at Airbus; a walkout from 90 percent of the staff at a FNAC department store outside of Toulouse; a strike from 80 percent of the workers at a LU Mondelēz factory in Normandy, etc.
Author(s): Cole Stangler
Publication Date: 2 Feb 2023
Publication Site: Jacobin
A book to educate labor people to argue for keeping their underfunded defined benefit plans with sprinklings of propaganda.
Yet pension plans cost governments less than 401(k)s for the same benefit amount. Most public pension plans are in sound financial shape despite media focus on the few that are not. (page 10)
At one point, I commented to a pension attorney that I didn’t think there were more than twenty-five people in the state who understood how the state employee pension plan worked. He agreed and then added that there were a lot more people who thought they did, especially politicians who were proposing reforms to it. (page 16)
Unless your doctor has told you you’re about to die, receiving a lump sum payment is almost always a terrible idea. (page 110)
Author(s): John Bury
Publication Date: 23 Mar 2022
Publication Site: Burypensions
In the shadow of stimulus checks and extra unemployment aid, Democratic lawmakers extended another hand in the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package: a long-sought bailout for failing private pension plans.
The union-backed provision, touted for years by Representative Richard E. Neal, was signed into law Thursday by President Biden as part of the larger COVID-19 stimulus bill. It promises to set aside an estimated $86 billion — and some say possibly far more — in grants for multi-employer retirement plans that were careening toward insolvency even before the pandemic hit.
Without it, the multi-employer pension plans for more than a million truckers, warehouse and retail workers, and others could collapse, unions and congressional Democrats warn. In New England alone, the measure could help preserve the promised retirements of at least 70,000 Teamster members, union officials said.
Author(s): Matt Stout
Publication Date: 13 March 2021
Publication Site: Boston Globe