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France: Protesters welcome Hollande's Bordeaux visit with huge 'die-in'01:44

France: Protesters welcome Hollande's Bordeaux visit with huge 'die-in'

France, Bordeaux
May 31, 2016 at 17:57 GMT +00:00 · Published

Some 500 protesters participated in a so-called 'die-in' against proposed labour reforms and pesticides in Bordeaux, Tuesday, as French President Francois Hollande reportedly arrived in the city to join the inauguration of a venue honouring the region's wine heritage.

The anti-government protest consisted of two groups, one protesting against the labour reforms while the other railed against the use of pesticides in vineyards. The latter demonstration comes after recent reports stating that traces of pesticides have been found in nine out of ten streams and rivers in the country, with growing concerns of increased cancer risks because of the substances' use.

The two groups met at the Bacalan docks where they staged the die-in. The protesters' bodies were outlined with white chalk, reminiscent of crime scene investigations, with participants lying on the tram tracks at the Bacalan dock, allegedly symbolising victims of pesticide. Many of the protesters could be seen carrying flags bearing the insignia of the General Confederation of Labour union, one of the main group leading the fight against the French labour law reforms.

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: Protesters welcome Hollande's Bordeaux visit with huge 'die-in'01:44
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Some 500 protesters participated in a so-called 'die-in' against proposed labour reforms and pesticides in Bordeaux, Tuesday, as French President Francois Hollande reportedly arrived in the city to join the inauguration of a venue honouring the region's wine heritage.

The anti-government protest consisted of two groups, one protesting against the labour reforms while the other railed against the use of pesticides in vineyards. The latter demonstration comes after recent reports stating that traces of pesticides have been found in nine out of ten streams and rivers in the country, with growing concerns of increased cancer risks because of the substances' use.

The two groups met at the Bacalan docks where they staged the die-in. The protesters' bodies were outlined with white chalk, reminiscent of crime scene investigations, with participants lying on the tram tracks at the Bacalan dock, allegedly symbolising victims of pesticide. Many of the protesters could be seen carrying flags bearing the insignia of the General Confederation of Labour union, one of the main group leading the fight against the French labour law reforms.

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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