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French protesters clash with police over new labour law

Protesters clash with riot police using tear gas at a demonstration against the French government's labour law reforms on April 9, 2016, in Rennes.PHOTO: AFP

Protesters clash with riot police using tear gas at a demonstration against the French government’s labour law reforms on April 9, 2016, in Rennes.PHOTO: AFP

Protesters in France have clashed with police against a controversial labour bill that they say is too ‘pro-business’ and would make it easier for companies to layoff staff.

There were clashes in the capital, Paris, yesterday as tens of thousands of people took part in street marches against a deeply unpopular reform package.

In the western city of Nantes, police fired tear gas at protesters; while in the northern port of Le Havre, hundreds of strikers, mainly dockworkers, blocked all the main access routes into the city with barricades of burning tyres, the BFMTV rolling news channel reported.

The demonstrations, part of a nationwide strike against changes that could alter France’s 35-hour working week, have gripped the country for weeks.

Opponents to the reform, billed as an effort to lower France’s stubborn 10 per cent unemployment, say it will deepen job insecurity for young people and threaten cherished workers’ rights.



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