Protesters have stormed the headquarters of luxury fashion label Louis Vuitton on the eve of an expected ruling on controversial pension reforms in France.
Striking railway workers invaded the Paris headquarters of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) – which also represents brands including Christian Dior, Fendi and Givenchy – on Thursday.
They joined demonstrators in cities and towns across the country in a final show of anger ahead of an expected ruling on whether President Macron‘s unpopular plan to raise the retirement age in France meets constitutional standards.
The plans would see the general retirement age rise from 62 to 64, while sanitation sector workers would be forced to work an extra two years until 59.
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Dozens of people waving flags and holding flares aloft were seen entering the LVMH premises on 22, Avenue Montaigne on Thursday morning – the 12th day of nationwide protests since strikes began in mid-January.
Hours earlier, protestors dumped piles of rubbish in front of the Constitutional Council – which is set to make a decision on the legality of the reforms on Friday – and hung a banner across the street reading “Constitutional Censorship”.
The rubbish was eventually cleaned up – but signalled the start of a fresh strike by refuse collectors timed to coincide with Thursday’s nationwide protests.
It follows a previous strike last month which saw the French capital city transformed into a dumpsite with thousands of tonnes of rubbish left festering on the streets.
Several hundred protesters blocked bin lorries at a refuse site south of Paris.
Sophie Binet, the leader of left-wing union, CGT, a key organisation fighting the reforms, vowed: “The mobilisation is far from over.
“As long as this reform isn’t withdrawn, the mobilisation will continue in one form or another.
“This is certainly not the last day of the strike,” she added.
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Demonstrator in critical condition and 16 hurt in clashes
CGT is among eight unions who joined forces in January to fight against the potential pension reforms.
President Macron said he would organise a meeting with unions following the Council’s decision to start working on other proposals.
But the CGT warned the initiative would be short-lived if Mr Macron was not prepared to discuss withdrawing the pension reforms.
Addressing journalists at a news conference during a state visit to the Netherlands on Wednesday, the French premier said: “The country must continue to move forward, work, and face the challenges that await us.”
However French anger shows no sign of abating – with Mr Macron likened to Louis XVI for ignoring the will of the people.