French parliament adopts controversial labor reforms after months of protest

July 21, 2016 8:00 pm

French Prime minister Manuel Valls about the labor reforms on July 20, 2016, at the French National Assembly in Paris. ©AFP

After months of violent
protests against a set of contentious labor reforms, the French
parliament has adopted the legislature seen as a threat to workers’
rights.

The reforms were considered adopted on Thursday
as no lawmakers called a vote of no confidence in the government,
said Claude Bartolone, the president of the National Assembly .
The legislation was forced through parliament three times using a constitutional tool so that lawmakers would not sink it.  
The contested reforms have been a thorny issue in for the past months, sparking protests in the country.
Prime
Minister Manuel Valls on Twitter praised the legislature as “a great
step for the reform of our country,” saying it will result in “more
rights for workers, more visibility for our small and medium enterprises
and more jobs.”

General
view of French trade union employees who march with banners during a
demonstration against plans to reform French labor laws, in Marseille,
France, July 5, 2016. ©ReutersThe government insists that the reforms will cut stubbornly high unemployment, which has risen to 10 percent, but workers’ unions say it will make it easier and less costly for employers to hire and fire people.
The
Republicans opposition party said it would take the matter to the
constitutional council. The Left Front said it would do the same to
denounce “a forceful passage which only strengthens a democratic crisis
in our institutions.”
The government of French President Francois
Hollande says the proposed labor reforms are aimed at making the job
market more flexible and reducing unemployment.
Critics, however, say the measures are too pro-business and would fail to bring down the jobless count.

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