French Union Leaders Criticize PM Borne’s Pension Reform Meeting as a ‘Failure’

French unions expressed disappointment on Wednesday after a meeting with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne failed to ease tensions over a controversial pension reform.

Despite months of widespread protests against the changes, Borne invoked a controversial executive order on March 16 to push the bill through parliament without a vote.

Unions had warned that the meeting would be a failure if Borne refused to consider revising the minimum retirement age of 64, but after barely an hour-long session, union representative Cyril Chabanier declared that the prime minister would not discuss the issue.

He and other union leaders called for mass demonstrations and strikes on Thursday, the eleventh day of coordinated nationwide action against the bill.

President Emmanuel Macron faces his biggest challenge of the second term due to the proposed changes, which include an increase in the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64.

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