Hard-line unions, led by the CGT, had called for rallies and work stoppages in 180 locations across France yesterday where workers, civil servants and students marched to voice their anger over the reform and a wave of belt-tightening measures.
But much of France was functioning normally, with commuter trains running on schedule and only slight delays expected on inter-city links, suggesting there will be no repeat of the massive strikes that followed a 2010 pension reform.
Hardline FO union leader Jean-Claude Mailly said while workers were upset over some points of Socialist President Mr Hollande's reform, he did not expect a "tidal wave" of opposition.
His counterpart at the CGT union, Thierry Lepaon, added: "It's important for workers to know they need to show their strength on social issues."
Mr Hollande's reform, which is to be debated by parliament next month, aims to wipe out an annual deficit that will otherwise hit £18 billion.
His popularity remains low but he seems to have met his goal of avoiding opposition in the street and setting up a smooth passage for the bill through parliament.
Despite a poll showing 56% of respondents supporting protests against the reform, France's moderate unions have not joined calls for protests, while centre-left parties are staying away.
Analysts have been more downbeat about the bill, saying it leaves deep structural problems.