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French unions stage protests against labour reforms

Paris, Sep 21 (IANS) French unions opposing President Emmanuel Macron’s reforms intended to make the labour market more flexible, on Thursday continued a second day of protests with around 200 demonstrations around the country.

The call to strike by the unions, led by the General Confederation of Labour (GCL), has had little effect on day-to-day activities, with some exceptions, including public transport in some cities excluding Paris, reports Efe news.

France’s state-owned railway company SNCF said that it expected some 95 per cent of its trains and all of its high speed TGV trains to run as usual.

The cancellations were going to affect conventional long-distance trains (80 per cent functional), regional trains (84 per cent functional, but 50 to 60 per cent in some regions) and some local lines near Paris (where up to two thirds of trains may be cancelled).

Macron, who had made labour-market reform one of his main priorities in his electoral campaign, said on Tuesday that “democracy isn’t the street”, with reference to the protests.

Once the cabinet approves the reforms on Friday, the left-wing La France Insoumise party will mobilise the next day, having called for a protest in Paris demanding the reforms withdrawal.

Some unions of truckers have warned that they will block fuel tanks starting Sunday night.

Post Source: Ians feed

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