France In Turmoil As Workers Protest New Labor Laws

People are calling this the biggest set of protests since the French Revolution.

Photo from www.newsweek.com

Photo from www.newsweek.com

You wouldn’t want to be French President François Hollande right now. Aside from the fact that he is regarded as the least popular president that France had – ever since the French started to tabulate stuff into little polls to find out what works and what doesn’t, he has the unenviable task of trying to piece together what’s left of a nation in chaos and civil unrest, something that prompted France to be in a state of emergency as a result.

In case you don’t know, France is being plagued with protests left and right, all of these stemming from Hollande’s Socialist government and its efforts to fix their country’s unemployment rate – which right now stands at 10 percent. In hopes of alleviating this problem, the French government has been trying to make changes to the labor law, but instead of being embraced by the French people, labor strikes and public outcry ensued.

France has been in so much chaos lately that aviation and the public transport system has been paralyzed – thanks to strikes at oil refineries and nuclear power plants that led to shortages of fuel and electricity. Violent riots and street protests have filled the streets as well, plunging France down into something that is really not tourist-friendly, all thanks to President Hollande and his government’s shenanigans.

You see, it turns out that instead of making jobs more accessible to citizens, what the French government did was make it easier for companies to fire people. In fact, some even say the new set of proposed changes don’t even protect workers at all and instead, the planned reforms make them more vulnerable to the whims of their respective employers.

Some of the changes to France’s labor law include an increase to the maximum number of hours an employee can work into 12 hours – a couple hours more from where they are right now at 10; and the added flexibility for companies to lay off their workers with new grounds for dismissals that include economic reasons and the safeguarding of a company’s competitiveness. The French government believes that the current labor laws are too rigid for both employers and their employees, and the proposed changes should fix that – even though some say that it will only erode job security.

Be that as it may, the French President believes that this is the answer to France’s problems with unemployment and he’s sticking by his proposed reforms, no matter what the rest of his people think of him.

”I will not give way, because too many (previous) governments have backed down,” French President François Hollande said in an interview.

”I prefer that people have an image of a president who made reforms rather than a president who did nothing.”

What do you think of France’s new labor laws? Let us know in the comments below and share this news.


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