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France: Clashes erupt at anti-labour reform protest in Nantes01:35

France: Clashes erupt at anti-labour reform protest in Nantes

France, Nantes
May 26, 2016 at 17:03 GMT +00:00 · Published

At least three people were detained during a protest against France's labour reforms in Nantes, Thursday. An estimated 2,000 people took part in the protest which had already been 'outlawed' by authorities following clashes during previous gatherings.

The facades of two banks were reportedly vandalised, and riot police fired tear gas at protesters in order to disperse them. Striking workers have also shut down several refineries across the country, prompting the government to release emergency fuel supplies to keep vehicles on the roads.

Commonly referred to as the 'El Khomri law,' after French Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri, President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls have said they will impose the labour reforms by decree after the government survived a recent vote of no-confidence.

The reforms will concern almost all aspects of the country's labour laws; easing conditions for employers to hire and fire workers. Firms will also have greater freedoms to reduce workers' pay and will be able to extend the working week from the current 35 hours to a maximum of 46 hours.

France's government says the reforms are essential to boosting the economy and helping cut high levels of unemployment. The changes have been condemned by student groups and labour unions, who believe that it will become easier for employers to bypass workers' rights on pay, overtime and breaks.

France: Clashes erupt at anti-labour reform protest in Nantes01:35
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At least three people were detained during a protest against France's labour reforms in Nantes, Thursday. An estimated 2,000 people took part in the protest which had already been 'outlawed' by authorities following clashes during previous gatherings.

The facades of two banks were reportedly vandalised, and riot police fired tear gas at protesters in order to disperse them. Striking workers have also shut down several refineries across the country, prompting the government to release emergency fuel supplies to keep vehicles on the roads.

Commonly referred to as the 'El Khomri law,' after French Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri, President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls have said they will impose the labour reforms by decree after the government survived a recent vote of no-confidence.

The reforms will concern almost all aspects of the country's labour laws; easing conditions for employers to hire and fire workers. Firms will also have greater freedoms to reduce workers' pay and will be able to extend the working week from the current 35 hours to a maximum of 46 hours.

France's government says the reforms are essential to boosting the economy and helping cut high levels of unemployment. The changes have been condemned by student groups and labour unions, who believe that it will become easier for employers to bypass workers' rights on pay, overtime and breaks.

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