PARIS (Reuters) – French power and mining union FNME-CGT has called a strike on Sept. 6 to show solidarity with its leader as he faces police questioning that day over his actions during protests against changes to the state pension system.
The strike is a continuation of the months-long protests against President Emmanuael Macron’s pension reforms, which lifted the retirement age from 62 to 64. Unions have reduced power supply and made targeted cuts, such as at the Olympic village in Saint-Denis.
Union members at the Cruas and Saint-Alban nuclear plants are expected to join the action, a union representative said.
The union is also calling for a rally in front of the Montmorency police headquarters in the morning of Sept. 6 shortly before FNME-CGT secretary general Sebastien Menesplier is scheduled to appear there for questioning.
Menesplier is suspected of having committed or attempting to commit the offence of endangering others by violating safety regulations during pension reform protests, the union said in a statement.
A representative for the Montmorency police station confirmed that Menespelier has been summoned but declined to comment on the reason, saying that it is “too political”.
The pension reforms caused a backlash among the public and has led to the biggest increase in union membership since strikes in 1995 forced a conservative government to scrap pension and welfare reforms.
French nuclear operator EDF was not available for comment.
(Reporting by Forrest Crellin, editing by Tassilo Hummel and Angus MacSwan)