France's hard-left leader Melenchon brings supporters to street against labor reform

labor reform
Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of hard-left "Unbowed France" party, on Saturday took tens of thousands of supporters to streets in Paris to protest against President Emmanuel Macron's decrees to make labor code more flexible, a day after the reform was enacted.


Melenchon said the rally against a "social coup d'etat" drew 150,000 people in the Bastille square to denounce 36 measures with which Macron targets to give more freedom to companies in terms of recruitment and working conditions to create dynamism and bolster growth.

The president said it is "an unprecedented in-depth reform of labor market which is essential to our economy and society". However, to opponents, the reform aims to weaken workers' rights and hit their social protection.

Portraying himself as Macron's strongest opponent, Melenchon told the crowd "the battle is not over. It begins."

"The mobilization will continue. In the civil service, in different sectors, mobilization is organized. Unions that had not called for demonstrations began to do so," he said, urging "strong action" before parliament decrees' ratification.

The hard-left show of force came a day after Macron enacted the legislation. The new labor code was published in the official gazette earlier on Saturday and will become law in the coming days. They are set to take effect by year-end.

Already dogged by public disenchantment, Macron will face more mass anti-labor reform protests for the next weeks that will start with truck drivers' strike on Sept. 25. Movements of pensioners and civil servant are planned on Sept. 28 and Oct. 10 respectively.
  [globaltimes.cn/Xinhua]
 24/9/17

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