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Fears of a standoff in French labor protests

Friday, June 03, 2016 - 01:11

The socialist government of French President Francois Hollande is refusing to withdraw proposed labor reforms that have prompted a long series of mass protests by unionists, leading to fears of a standoff that could disrupt the Euro 2016 soccer championships. Mana Rabiee reports.

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French discontent in the western city of Nantes.... as thousands again take to the streets to protest government plans to reform labor laws. It's the latest in a series of demonstrations across France in recent weeks, largely by unionists who accuse the government of 'killing' France's protective labor laws. The government of President Francois Hollande says the reforms will give companies more flexibility in hiring, making them more competitive. But protesters say it gives employers more scope to set their OWN TERMS -- on things like pay -- when hiring. (SOUNDBITE) (French) REGIONAL DELEGATE OF PERFORMING ARTS UNION SYNAVI, PIERRE, SAYING: "We are not hose pipes, we are human beings, so we do not want flexibility, we want to be able to live in a society that values well-being, and all we are being offered is unease." But the protests have left the government unmoved. It's refusing to withdraw the proposed labor reforms ... so fears are growing of a more serious STANDOFF between the unions and the government -- just as the Euro 2016 soccer championships are about to begin.

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Fears of a standoff in French labor protests

Friday, June 03, 2016 - 01:11