That’s one way to beat the crush! Commuter desperate to get a seat slides through a 15 inch train WINDOW as France’s nationwide transport strike hit its 40th day
- French commuters are desperate as country hits its 40th day of transport strike
- A sleek train passenger was caught entering a train by a window to get a seat
- The clip, shared on Twitter with caption ‘I have no words,’ amazed thousands
A Frenchman who could not wait to get a seat on his commute home was caught entering his train by its window amid France’s ongoing national transport strike.
In a video shared on Twitter, the unnamed man could be seen taking his white jacket off, passing it through the train’s rectangular top window, which has a height of about 11.8 to 15.7 inches, before sliding in himself in order to grab a seat before the flock of people orderly waiting for the train’s doors to let them through.
Amazed onlookers could not believe their eyes as the commuter pulled the stunt, which was uploaded on the social media platform with the caption ‘I’m speechless.’
Commenters joked France had descended into ‘madness’ as the country hits the 40th day of a strike which has paralysed most of the nation’s transport network since December in protest of Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform. The law change would have seen France’s retirement age raised by two years.
A French commuter was caught entering a train by its window in a video shared on Twitter amid the national strike which has been paralising the country’s major transport networks since December
In the video, the man clearly did not think twice before he boarded the train, desperate to get a seat, but he was criticised online by enraged French commuters who thought his actions were ‘rude’ and ‘selfish,’ given the number of elderly or pregnant commuters that could have benefited from a seat.
Onlookers can be heard commenting as the man slides himself onto the train, with a child repeatedly asking his mother if he ‘can do the same,’ and a woman in stitches claiming she’s going to ‘send him to Facebook.’
Commuters have been left with no option but to be creative, with people battling for seats on the few methods of transport that are running. However, things have been easing back to normal after French President Emmanuel Macron said he would scrap the reform
‘To demonstrate my confidence in the social partners… I am willing to withdraw from the bill the short-term measure I had proposed’ to set a so-called ‘pivot age’ of 64 with effect from 2027, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe wrote in a letter to union leaders a day after they met seeking to end the labour action last week.
The man slid himself between the narrow top window of the train in order to get in before the impatient other passengers waiting for the train’s doors to open (left)
The government was seeking to fuse 42 existing pension schemes into a single, points-based system it said would be fairer and more transparent but which unions feared would see millions work longer for a smaller retirement payout.
Particularly vexing was the proposal to impose a 64 ‘pivot age’ that people will have to work until to qualify for a full pension – two years beyond the official retirement age.
On Friday, Macron defended the reform, saying that for the pension system to remain viable as a growing number of retirees live ever longer, ‘either one has to contribute more, or one has to agree to work a little longer’, while insisting he does not want to see pensions lowered.
People could not believe their eyes as the man prepared to enter the train through the window, taking his jacket off
The government said the proposed ‘pivot age’ would plug pension deficits set to soar in coming years, saving five billion euros ($5.6 billion) by 2023 and some 11 billion euros by 2026.
Philippe said Saturday the concept of an ‘age of equilibrium’ would remain part of the reform, though he did not spell out what this means.
The premier also announced there would be a conference, as demanded by unions, to study ways of financing the pension system, which must come up with proposals by the end of April.
The passenger did not hesitate to pass his head and body through the window, while onlookers claimed they’d ‘send the video to Facebook’
Yesterday, it was announced eight out of ten TGVs (the French high-speed rail service) would be circulating, and that more metro lines resumed operation in Paris as well.
If the conference fails, the government will take the ‘measures necessary to achieve equilibrium’ in the system by 2027, the prime minister warned.
But if it achieves its mandate, the parliament will be able to work the resulting proposals into the draft pension reform bill.
The government seeks to present its reform plan to the cabinet by January and the National Assembly by February 17, but it can still be redrafted later.
The moderate CFDT union welcomed ‘the withdrawal of the pivot age’ from the bill.
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