The reform is one piece of Sarkozy’s broader plans to change the way the French work, and one that enjoys support from most voters. Others, such as changes to hospital staffing and public sector job cuts, are more sensitive. “The government’s strategy is both firm about the goal of reforming special regimes, and open – with a hand extended – to dialogue with electricians, gas industry workers, railway workers and public transport workers,” Sarkozy said. “I’m committed to this reform, and we’ll do it,” he told reporters in Lisbon, Portugal, at the end of a two-day European Union summit. For strike opponents, those pension protections are outdated in a world of globalized competition. Advocates say the strike is a crucial message to defend public services from Sarkozy’s planned cost-cutting. Commuters got around in Paris by the city’s new rent-a-bike system, roller-blades, motorcycle taxis or by borrowing their children’s scooters. Those who gambled on the threadbare public transport grumbled about missing appointments.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.More trains, buses and subways were running Friday than on the first strike day, and polls indicated only limited public support for the strikes. The country’s biggest strikes in 12 years have sent their message – that President Nicolas Sarkozy’s attempt to trim coveted worker protections in France’s economy will not be easy. But unity among organized labor’s ranks splintered, with several unions putting off a decision about whether to press on with wide-scale walkouts until next week. Authorities said Paris bus service and train traffic across France would be virtually back to normal today. The labor dispute centers on Sarkozy’s plans to scrap retirement privileges for workers in physically demanding jobs, such as miners and train drivers, but also for workers at the state bank and national opera house. They are able to retire earlier – and on more generous terms – than the vast majority of France’s working population. The government says the privileges cost too much and are unfair; workers fearing unemployment lines resist any erosion of the labor protections that have long underpinned France’s economy. PARIS: Labor dispute centers on President Sarkozy’s plan to dump retirement for bus, train workers. By Jamey Keaten THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PARIS – Support for striking transport workers faltered Friday, with some unions returning to work on the second day of a protest against government plans to scrap some retirement benefits and commuters grumbling about delays and crowded platforms.