Mass protests against proposed reforms to labour laws in France turned violent after demonstrators clashed with police. Reports indicate that as many as 41 people have been injured, of which 24 are police officers- and at least 58 people have been arrested.
According to police, Tuesday’s round of protests on Paris drew an estimated 75,000-80,000 demonstrators, at least 3 times as many as other French protests against the labour reforms. A demonstration of 20,000 people gathered in the City of Toulouse demanding that the reformations be struck- along with numerous other cities.
The legislation being protested against would keep France’s 35 hour work week as an average and gave employers the ability to negotiate weekly changes with unions, up to a maximum of 46 hours and 60 in ‘exceptional circumstances’.
The reforms would also allow for employers to more easily reduce pay and fire workers with the hope that this will encourage companies to hire more people because they can be laid off if the economy turns. Among a few other points it would also allow employers greater negotiating power in terms of special leave and holiday.
The legislation has already been pushed through the lower house and is currently in the senate. France’s Labour Minister has said that the law may be altered, with the exception of key points- but not dropped entirely.
The details of the protests and the reforms has been varied depending on the report.