French President Emmanuel Macron insisted on the need for raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 in order to make the French pension system financially sustainable in the coming years, in a letter to workers’ unions released Friday.

The move comes after more than a million demonstrators marched in cities and towns across France this week as train and metro drivers, refinery workers and others started open-ended strikes against the centrist government’s plan.

Unions called for more protests on Saturday. They are demanding the withdrawal of the bill, which is being debated by the French Senate this week.

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