France: Huge protests erupt against new anti-worker laws


Hundreds of thousands of French workers and students joined a general strike on March 31 against their government's attacks on hard-won workers' rights, Morning Star Online said the next day.

Protests erupted across France against proposed sweeping attacks on workers' rights, shutting down dozens of schools, transportation and the Eiffel Tower.

Morning Star Online said: "The legislation, to be debated next month, would allow 12-hour days and in 'exceptional circumstances' employees could work up to 60 hours a week.

"Annual leave entitlement, break-time pay and other workplace rights will also be up for debate.

"Both employers and the Socialist Party government of President Francois Hollande — the least popular in modern French history — claim the hated Bill will encourage firms to take on more staff — with unemployment running at 10 per cent.

"But trade unions and other progressives have called it a threat to job security.

In response to the attacks, TeleSUR English said on March 31: "High school and university students joined unions, journalists and pro-labor groups in 266 actions across the country ...

TeleSUR English added: "Hundreds of undocumented immigrants also demanded the legalization of their work status by successfully occupying the Directorate General of Labor in Paris.

"After 48 hours of blocking about 1,500 employees from entering, the nearly 350 immigrants and union members scored a meeting with Myriam El Khomri, Minister of Labor and a main target of the protests. El Khomri agreed to form working groups to discuss how to regulate the black market.

"Students in Amiens also voted to occupy a lecture hall, students in Paris organized a “Militant School” with alternative teach-ins, and students in Nantes protested outside city hall, with some breaking windows.

"One quarter of railway workers also went on strike, according to the SNCF union, as did workers at the Eiffel Tower and all copy editors of Paris's influential Le Parisien paper."

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