‘This Photo From the France Pension Strike Last Week Goes So Hard’
On March 14 2023, the account @UnionDrip shared a photograph to Twitter, adding that the image, which was described as being “from the France pension strike” in March 2023 “goes so hard”:
This photo from the France pension strike last week goes so hard
📸 credit: jexplore_ton_jardin on Instagram pic.twitter.com/OWrKIeb9eY
— Dripped Out Trade Unionists (@UnionDrip) March 14, 2023
Pensions are retirement plans for employees that have increasingly fallen out of favor in the United States in recent decades; they are defined as follows:
A pension plan is an employee benefit that commits the employer to make regular contributions to a pool of money that is set aside in order to fund payments made to eligible employees after they retire … pension plans have become increasingly rare in the U.S. private [sector]. They have been largely replaced by retirement benefits that are less costly to employers, such as the 401(k) retirement savings plan.
Protests in France over proposed pension reforms were in the news repeatedly in March 2023. On March 15 2023, the New York Times reported that garbage collection had been disrupted by ongoing strikes:
Mounds of food waste piled in view of the Eiffel Tower. Small cobblestone streets lined with overflowing garbage bins. The bank of the Seine skirted by heaps of trash.
For more than a week [as of March 15 2023], garbage workers in parts of Paris and other cities across France have been on strike, protesting President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to raise the age when most workers begin collecting a government pension to 64, from 62.
The refuse rising in insalubrious piles, some taller than the pedestrians trying to avoid them, is a smelly, visceral symbol of popular outrage at the government’s plan. It also serves as a physical reminder of the hardship of professions not suited for old age, garbage workers say.
“You can see our work all over Paris,” said Alain Auvinet, 55, picketing at the garbage incinerator on the city’s western edge where he has worked for 35 years. “We held huge protests. The government didn’t listen. Instead, it gave us the finger. This is our last way of pushing back.”
English-language news site France24.com published a similar article on March 13 2023, describing piles of refuse related to worker action. On March 15 2023, they reported:
France faces another day of strikes on [March 15 2023] over highly contested pension reforms which President Emmanuel Macron appears on the verge of pushing through despite months of protests.
As the legislation enters the final stretch in parliament, trade unions are set to make another attempt to pressure the government and lawmakers into rejecting the proposed hike in the retirement age to 64.
A March 12 2023 CNBC mentioned a vote in favor of the proposed changes to France’s retirement age:
The French Senate on Saturday night [March 11 2023] adopted President Emmanuel Macron’s unpopular pension reform plan in the wake of a seventh day of demonstrations that were not as large as authorities had expected.
One hundred and ninety-five members of the upper house of the French Parliament voted for the text, whose key measure is raising the retirement age by two years to 64, while 112 voted against.
The protests – and rolling strikes that have affected refineries, public transport and garbage collections – aimed to pressure the government to withdraw the pension plan, which it said is essential to ensure the pension system does not run out of money.
Another version of the image was shared to Twitter on March 11 2023, with the Instagram username @jexplore_ton_jardin visible at the top:
✨ gauchiste aesthetic ✨ pic.twitter.com/SzPFo2eTpW
— Le Tréma (@Le_Trema) March 11, 2023
On March 10 2023, @jaexplore_ton_jardin shared the image:
View this post on Instagram
A caption automatically translated from French to English by Instagram read:
Procession leader during the protest against pension reform.
@studiohanslucas / #hanslucas
The unions had promised to put “France on hold” for this sixth day of mobilization against pension reform. The interunion called to “amplify” the movement with several new mobilization days in the next two weeks. ———
#manifestation #paris #riot #demonstration #photojournalism #urbanphotography #theglobewanderer #giletsjaunes #reportagespotlight #yellowvests #photojournalist #streetphotographers #storytelling #onassignment #police #leicaq2
An Instagram bio for the user included the name “Benjamin Guillot-Moueix.” Guillot-Moueix was credited for the image in a March 11 2023 tweet (alongside a version edited to make the scene look like an album cover):
📸 Benjamin Guillot-Moueix.
Écrire un album punk rock rien que pour l’avoir en pochette 🎸
(Modifs by @JeremieHalimi) pic.twitter.com/ZIFh8Ko4zw
— Virginie Debuisson (@VirgoWhallala) March 12, 2023
A popular March 14 2023 tweet featured a photograph “from the France pension strike last week [that] goes so hard.” As of March 15 2023, protests in France over a proposed increase to the country’s retirement age continued. The image was first shared to Instagram by Benjamin Guillot-Moueix (@jexplore_ton_jardin) on March 10 2023. Guillot-Moueix was subsequently credited for the image, but we were unable to definitively determine when or by whom the image was taken.