State employees in France held their second general walkout in less then a month this week. The strikes severely crippled transportation services and led many major airlines to cancel flights. Workers are protesting France's attempt to reform the retirement system in a way that would increase the number of years an employee must work in order to receive full benefits, a change that they contend is necessary to salvage the overburdened pension system. As unions threaten to extend the walkouts until their demands are met, government officials worry about the economic consequences of a long-term strike. Similar strikes are occurring in Austria as a result of government pension reform.