2010 saw huge social unrest sweep France in response to proposed pension reforms which would have upped the retirement age, amongst other cuts. Jean-Marie Cosson, a striking teacher from the town of Saint-Nazaire talks about the revolt at one of the last bastions of the worker’s movement, where the entrance of the lyceéns (young students) into the movement was given an ovation by ‘their fathers in blue collars.’
What’s the situation at Saint-Nazaire?
The IT firm, Fujitsu Services, has announced it is closing its final salary pension scheme to existing members. It was closed to new joiners in 2000.
The union, Unite!, centred around the firm’s Manchester site, has condemned the plans. Peter Skyte of Unite! said:
Fujitsu Services is a highly profitable company and made profits of £177m in the last financial year. The company has yet to produce any proper justification for this latest attempt to raise profits by cutting pension benefits, and this action may hinder future bids for blue chip private sector outsourcing contracts.