French unions stage strike as pension debate starts

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Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) — French unions are striking nationwide as lawmakers begin debating President Nicolas Sarkozy’s bill to raise the retirement age.

Transport workers began walking off the job last night, and many schools, post offices and government offices will be closed today. Demonstrations are planned in 137 cities.

Sarkozy has vowed not to compromise on the key plank of his pension proposals, which would lift the retirement age to 62 from 60. The bid to shore up the retirement system may calm bond investors and rating services in the wake of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.

Full Story: French Unions Stage Strike as Pension Debate Starts – BusinessWeek