French Labour Reform Protests Kick Off in Final Push Against Law Changes

A new wave of protests against France’s President Emmanuel Macron kicked off across France on Thursday, September 21, days before Macron’s signature labor reforms are due to be signed into law by executive order.

Last week, at least 200,000 protesters came out across the country against the overhaul of laws that will give employers more power to negotiate pay and employment conditions, while reducing the cost of sacking staff.

Thursday’s protests were called by France’s largest trade union, CGT, with the support of the smaller Solidaires union. However, French trade unions are split over the reforms, with both the CFDT and the FO withholding their support for the protests for a second week.

Footage by a student activist in Clermont-Ferrand, in the Auvergne region, shows protesters marching with a banner calling for Macron’s resignation. Macron caused a media storm when he described opponents as “faineants,” or slackers, in an address given in Athens earlier this month. Credit: Twitter/Barberis Matthieu via Storyful