February 6, 2018 / 9:25 PM / 10 months ago

French unions call for March 22 strike against Macron's public sector reforms

FILE PHOTO - A poster reading "Emmanuel Macron public enemy number one for employees" is seen near a French Trade Union CGT shirt during a demonstration against French government labour reforms in Paris, France, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - Seven French unions called for a day of strikes across the public sector on March 22 to protest against government plans to reform the public administration and cut spending, an official at the CFE-CGE union said.

“We hope there will be as many of us as possible. It’s our status which is being targeted,” Nathalie Makarski, head of the CFE-CGC union’s public sector branch, told Reuters.

Makarski said the CFDT and Unsa unions, some of the country’s biggest, had not joined the call at this stage but may do after consulting their base.

Spelling out for the first time since President Emmanuel Macron’s election last May how he aims to modernise the public administration, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the government would have no qualms about shaking things up even if it meets resistance.

Some French government employees may be offered voluntary redundancy, his budget minister said.

Reporting by Caroline Pailliez; Writing by Michel Rose; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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