The National Assembly has adopted an amendment to the draft law on financing social security (the "PLFSS") for 2009 that will authorize workers to "voluntarily" work up to the age of 70 rather than to the current 65 years. The five extra years will count towards pensions.

The UMP tells us that "it is no longer acceptable that men or women of 65 are forced into retirement against their wills, just because of their age, even when they have not paid enough into the fund to draw a full pension or wish to increase their entitlements". It is equally true that only a minority of workers makes it to the age of 65 in employment, because companies forced many of them into "pre-retirement" around their fiftieth birthday. This is because human beings are just "cost factors" for them.

Two things are hidden behind this measure that the government is trying to slip through behind our backs.

1) There is an unacceptable frontal attack against those who work under the toughest conditions. Those who could not get in enough years of work because of unemployment are most likely to look for ways to raise their future pensions above the poverty level. According to an INSSE study of 2005, blue collar men of 35 can expect to reach 74, women 82. For white collar the numbers are given as 75 and 83.5, respectively. Are we being told that a decade of paid retirement at the end of a tough life is too much to ask for?

2) This is not a case of the tired old slogan "work more ? earn more". No, the modern version is "work more ? or starve to death on the street"!

After a certain period of "experimentation" the minimum retirement age will be raised while pensions will drop to the poverty line. Those workers who live to the age of pensioning with a few shreds of their health left will be the "lucky" ones.

That’s the new model for France; 70+ year olds looking for work so that they can eat, just like in the US.

The CNT stands against this attempt to undermine the social advances that were won in hard struggles.

The only real solution is the class struggle!

CNT France.