Public sector workers in France strike over labour law reforms

Public sector workers in France strike over labour law reforms

Three people were killed in southwestern France when a gunman held up a auto, opened fire on police and then took hostages in a supermarket.

Teachers, train conductors and airline controllers walked off the job across France on Thursday, disrupting transport and public services in a test of public anger with President Emmanuel Macron's reform drive.

Unions deliberately chose March 22nd as the launch date for the strikes to coincide with the start of France's legendary protests in 1968 that saw pitched street battles between police and students. Railway workers and public sector workers left work for the day.

Protests in major cities such as Marseille and Lyon Thursday saw around 10,000 people and rail unions claimed around 25,000 took part in Paris, but the numbers were smaller than previous demonstrations against labor reforms rammed through by Macron past year. In the morning there were also some confrontations between demonstrators and the police in cities as Nantes and Paris, although for the moment no wounded or arrests have been reported.

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The tweet below shows the police water cannons in use in Bastille in Paris.

"The situation is very different from 1995". The strikes also expected to affect hospitals, libraries and other public services.

"We agreed - Germany and France at least - that such reactions are still necessary in addition to recalling the ambassador".

Thello was launched in December 2011 as a joint venture between Trenitalia and Transdev and operates overnight Paris - Venice trains as well as daytime Milan - Nice - Marseille services. "Why not guarantee passengers free travel?" Those who had no choice but to head in to work faced major headaches.

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Outlining his plan previous year, Macron said that his reform package would aim to give companies more hiring and firing flexibilities, more power to negotiate working conditions directly with employees and less financial risk in cases of wrongful dismissals.

"The government needs to be paying much more attention to how things really are", Force Ouvriere union chief Jean-Claude Mailly told BFM television, citing "serious worries" among public sector workers.

France is part of a US-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and has thousands of soldiers in West Africa fighting al Qaeda-linked militants.

"I'll be raising this issue with my counterparts today because it's clear that the Russian threat does not respect borders, and indeed the incident in Salisbury was part of a pattern of Russian aggression against Europe and its near neighbors from the Western Balkans to the Middle East", she said. Just one in four regular mainline Intercité trains across the country operated and only half of the regional TER trains.

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