Mass protests against proposed pension reform rock France

Millions of people have taken to the streets in France in protest of the government's plan to raise the pension age from 62 to 64.

In January, the administration of President Emmanuel Macron presented a plan to reform the country's pension system, including raising the retirement age.

A new round of mass protests -- the sixth this year -- took place on Tuesday under the slogan of bringing France "to a standstill."

Organizers said 3.5 million people took part in demonstrations and rallies across France.

Union members in transport, utility, education and other industries went on strike the same day.

The AFP news agency and other media outlets have reported that around 80 percent of high-speed train services were suspended and up to a third of trains were out of service on the Paris metro system.

A union leader who took part in a Paris demonstration said the government has refused to listen to people's voices even though millions have been speaking out against the pension reform plan since January. He said there's no choice but to step up the protests.

A bill to reform the pension system is now under deliberation in the Senate. Macron aims to implement the reform in September.

But the latest opinion poll shows 65 percent of respondents oppose the bill.