30 Oct 2010

French strikers, protesters going back to work

6:16 pm on 30 October 2010

Many of the people who went on strike against French pension reform plans have returned to work.

The last striking oil refinery employees voted to end their strike on Friday, a day after the latest nationwide protests brought only half the previous number of protesters out onto the streets.

On Thursday, six of France's 12 refineries were still suffering industrial action. Now all are back in operation.

The French Parliament has now approved the Government's plans to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62.

Unions still plan at least one more day of action on 6 November. One union leader, Francois Chereque, says they will meet on 4 November to decide what to do after 6 November, but another union leader, Jean-Claude Mailly, concedes that the movement is showing "a little fatigue".

Aides to President Nicolas Sarkozy say he intends to sign the pensions bill into law on or around 15 November.