Radio France Internationale reported that bus and subway services were running normally in Paris, but railroad network SNCF was experiencing schedule disruptions around the country.
Eight separate unions are involved in the strike, including teachers, healthcare professionals and post office staff. About 45 percent of the flights have been canceled at major Parisian airports, aviation authorities reported.
The unions claimed 2.5 million workers participated in the walkout, a figure disputed by the interior ministry, which put the figure at 1.1 million, the report said.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said adopting the new pension age would save $93 billion by 2030.
The proposal calls for the retirement age to increase in 2018 with retirement available at 62 and full benefits available at 67. Currently, workers in France who have contributed to the pension system for 40.5 years can retire at age 60 with full benefits available at 62.
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