Political tensions, new protests over French pension bill

Opponents of French President Emmanuel Macron’s pension plan are staging a new round of strikes and protests as a joint committee of senators and lower-house politicians examines the contested bill.
According to international media reports, unions are hoping that demonstrations across the country will further show workers’ massive opposition to the plan, promoted by Macron as central to his vision for making the French economy more competitive.
Train drivers, school teachers, dock workers and others are expected to walk off the job on Wednesday.
Thousands of tons of garbage is piling up on Paris sidewalks amid a continuing strike against the pension plan.
Public transport is expected to be disrupted, including high-speed, regional and Paris suburban trains.
France’s aviation authority, the DGAC, said 20 percent of the flights at Paris-Orly airport have been canceled, and warned about potential delays.
Workers in several oil refineries are also among those pursuing an open-ended strike launched last week.
The latest step in the legislative process to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 is prompting a peak of political tensions and one key question: Will the bill command a parliamentary majority?