Thursday marked day 29 of the state-owned railway company, SCNF, strike in France against President Emmanuel Macron's planned pension reform.  

The dispute began Dec. 5 and although the number of protesters is down 7%, the country has been brought to a near standstill for the last month as a lack of workers caused shutdowns of major transit entities, including train and metro stations.

Major airports,Charles de Gaulle and Orly, remain open.

The strike has topped the longest transit strike on record in France, which ironically occurred around the same time 23 years ago from December 1986 to January 1987.

Included in the strike are anyone employed in a transit role, from drivers to ticket takers to laborers and the impact on the population at large has been tremendous.

At the heart of the dispute is Macron's desire to raise the retirement age to 64 from 62.

In his annual New Year's Day address, Macron put forth wishes for a compromise but was resolved in his stance that it is the better solution for the country. He also called for a general increase in “fraternity” in accord with France’s motto of "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite," or “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.”

"The pension reform will be carried out," he said in his televised speech to the nation.

His hope for a resolution to the dispute not only addressed the strike but the system at large, which includes 42 separate schemes and is sorely in need of reform in the opinion of many.

A month of strikes and protests has unions demanding he abandon the plan.

A mass protest is planned Jan. 9 by hospital workers, teachers and assorted public sector workers who will add to the railway workers' cause.

Talks with the government are set to resume Jan. 7.