21 Ottobre 2003
In September 2003, the French government announced a cut in the entitlement period for the 'specific solidarity allowance' (/ASS/) paid to unemployed people who are no longer eligible for unemployment benefit. The move has been opposed by trade unions and the political opposition.
24 Settembre 2003
A major law on pension reform was finally passed by the French parliament on 24 July 2003, after lengthy debate in both houses. Although the majority of the government's bill - which included changes agreed with a number of trade unions - was retained, many amendments were made. Opposition to the law remains strong among unions and the political opposition.
11 Agosto 2003
Compensation for people suffering illness as a result of asbestos exposure at work has been in the headlines in 2003, with disagreement over the level of compensation to be paid by a newly created Fund for the Compensation of Asbestos Victims (FIVA). The Fund aims to provide full compensation to asbestos victims, following an asbestos-related early retirement scheme introduced in 1999. In 2003 it adopted a scale of compensation payments much lower than awards made by the courts, bringing protests from trade unions and victims' organisations.
25 Giugno 2003
The French government was forced to amend its controversial proposals on pension reform by wide-scale strike action and demonstrations organised in protest on 13 May 2003. Following talks with the social partners, it revised the plan - though not the key point of increasing the contribution period required for a full pension - on the basis of a deal agreed by two trade union confederations, CFDT and CFE-CGC. The talks thus led to a split in the united trade union front on the issue, and unions opposed to the planned reform have called more protest action. Parliamentary debate on the bill began in June and is expected to to be completed in July.
20 Maggio 2003
In May 2003, the French government issued a draft bill on pension reform. It provides for a series of concrete measures with an impact on the general state pension scheme, the civil servants’ schemes and those for the self-employed. The proposals include measures to lengthen working lives and contribution periods, and to introduce greater flexibility and freedom of choice for workers. The draft bill has provoked fierce responses from trade unions, which called a day of national mobilisation on 13 May.
28 Aprile 2003
A strike called by seven trade unions took place at France's SNCF railway network in March 2003. The unions were protesting against the recent opening up of international freight transport by rail to competition within the EU. Discussions on the prevention of industrial disputes at SNCF have been taking place at the same time.
13 Marzo 2003
In response to funding problems, in February 2003 the French government issued proposals to reform the 'personalised independence allowance', a measure aimed at providing means-tested assistance for elderly people who are unable to live independently. Trade unions, pensioners’ associations and health and social services professionals have reacted strongly to the changes
06 Marzo 2003
A reform of France's state pensions system was officially launched in January 2003 by President Jacques Chirac. To prepare the ground for negotiations over the reform, the seven main trade union organisations signed a joint statement and organised a day of demonstrations on 1 February. In early February, the Prime Minister presented the outlines of the reform, to a mixed reaction from the social partners.
19 Dicembre 2002
Following a decision in October to phase out the early retirement scheme for civil servants, in late 2002 the French government set out its schedule for pension reform and issued various statements on the issue. It has developed two priority areas - 'equal treatment for all' and 'freedom of choice'. Trade unions are challenging the process and fear that the government has already decided how pensions are to be reformed.
14 Febbraio 2002
On 24 October 2001, the Economic and Social Council (Conseil économique et social, CES) (FR9910115N ) adopted an opinion  entitled 'The dynamics of the active population and employment: the forward planning of the age profile towards 2010' (/Dynamique de la population active et emploi : la gestion prévisionnelle des âges à l'horizon 2010/), based on a report tabled by Bernard Quintreau of the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (Confédération française démocratique du travail, CFDT). The context is that, as the large 'baby-boomer' generation starts to reach retirement age between 2007 and 2011, the proportion of people aged over 60 in the population will rise rapidly. Increasing employment rates among the over 55s is a priority, given their significant numbers and current low employment rates (48% for the 55-59s, compared with 75% for the 50-54s).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/economic-and-social-council-renewed  http://www.conseil-economique-et-social.fr/rapporti/texte.asp?Repertoire=01102420&ref=NS002530