Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Paris, Marseille, Lyon and other major French cities to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s Labour Reforms.
However, two of the other biggest unions, CFDT and Force Ouvrière, did not participate, although some local branches of the unions mobilized march against the reforms.
A number of smaller unions were also involved, including the public sector union FSU, Solidaires, and student organisation Unef.
The organisers said they called for workers in the country to rally against the new labour laws in France which hand companies more flexibility in negotiating wages and conditions directly with employees, and limit damages paid to workers for unfair dismissal.
Macron came to power with a promise to overhaul France’s enormous labour code and lower unemployment to 7% by 2022, which is down from its current level of 9.5%. The President’s team announced the plans last month after weeks of consultations with unions and employers.
The president last week angered opposition with a remark regarding the reforms during a visit to Greece. “I am fully determined and I won’t cede any ground, not to slackers, nor cynics, nor hardliners,” he said.
President Macron missed the countrywide protest following his travel to the Caribbean to see the destruction wrought by Hurricane Irma.