Keyword: labour laws
Jean-Luc Mélenchon drew tens of thousands to a Paris rally on Saturday against new president's labour reforms.
Officials estimated the crowds at 132,000 across France, just over half the number who took part last week in similar union street protests.
Demonstrations against plans to change employment law came ahead of union meeting with French prime minister Manuel Valls.
Police put the turnout for the peaceful march - initially banned by the authorities - at up to 20,000 while unions said figure was closer to 60,000.
Speaking from G7 summit in Japan, French president insisted the changes that have sparked protests, strikes and blockades are 'good reforms'.
Many oil refinery workers, rail workers and aviation staff are on strike or set to go out on strike as France suffers fuel shortages and a power struggle between the government and those opposed to controversial labour law reforms. Union activists have criticised the “extremely violent” actions of the state in removing the blockade at the Fos-sur-Mer oil refinery in the south of France. But despite the growing impact of their industrial action, union militants admit that they will not continue the action on their own indefinitely without the help of workers in other sectors. Mathilde Goanec reports.
French head of state said he preferred people to have image of a president who conducted reforms rather than one who has done nothing.
Unions have planned two days of protest and called strikes in the air transport, road freight, rail and oil sectors against the proposed reforms.
Premier Manuel Valls says 'irresponsible minority' will be 'brought to justice' after 24 police officers were injured and 124 people arrested.
Students hurled bottles at riot police in Paris and Nantes in anger at planned employment law that has now been approved by ministers.