New clashes in France at demos over labour reforms

September 15, 2016 | By | Reply More

Sep 15, – At least one demonstrator and five police were injured — including one officer with burns — as thousands rallied against the law forced through by the Socialist government in July after months of often violent protests.

new-clashes-in-france-at-demos-over-labour-reformsFrench riot police fired teargas and stun grenades Thursday during clashes in Paris with opponents of labour reforms who threw molotov cocktails, the latest outbreak of violence over the controversial new laws.

Twelve people were arrested in the capital, where around 13,000 people took part in the rally against measures aimed at loosening France’s notoriously rigid employment laws, the 14th such demonstrations in six months.

A demonstration in the western city of Nantes also turned violent, with police there using tear gas and water cannon against protesters.

Scores of flights in and out of France were cancelled as air traffic controllers went on strike to protest the law that makes it easier to fire workers during downturns and for bosses to negotiate directly with employees on working time.

“We will show them that, law or no law, we will always stand against them,” Francois Roche, a member of the hardline CGT union demonstrating in Marseille, told AFP.

The turnout nationwide was however far lower than at the start of the rallies six months ago, when they brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets.

One of the focal points Thursday was the eastern city of Belfort where the government is locked in a battle with train-building giant Alstom over the future of a locomotive factory threatened with closure.

Belfort’s history is intertwined with that of Alstom, which produced its first steam train there in 1880. The plant now assembles high-speed TGV train locomotives.

Last week, Alstom had announced it would close the plant due to a lack of orders and move production to a site 200 kilometres (120 miles) to the north.

Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the city, chanting “Alstom is Belfort, Belfort is Alstom”.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: European Crises

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