Thousands of people have taken to the streets across France to protest against President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to make changes to the country’s labour laws.
A day of strikes and demonstrations was launched today by France’s biggest trade union, the CGT, s opposing Macron’s reforms, which are intended to tackle high unemployment by loosening the rules that govern how businesses hire and fire staff.
Under the reforms, small company bosses will be given more freedom to negotiate working conditions directly with their employees rather than being subject to industry-wide agreements. Compensation for unfair dismissal would also be capped, a move that has particularly angered unions.
About 4,000 strikes and 180 protests were organised by the CGT, with rail workers, students and civil servants urged to protest. When projectiles were thrown at police, authorities responded with tear gas and water cannon. However, President Macron missed the disruption, as he travelled to the Caribbean to see the destruction wrought by Hurricane Irma.