French Muslim student union leader hits back at headscarf attacks

France — Link

A Paris university student union leader involved in current protests against a reform of university entrance criteria has dismissed as 'pathetic' and 'quite comical' criticism by government ministers who accuse her of 'provocation' and promoting 'political Islam' by wearing a headscarf during media appearances. 

Health firm 'offered 4 million euro deal' for French union's silence over workplace spies

France — Investigation

The Franco-Canadian group Orpea, which runs private retirement homes and health clinics, has been using “observers” to spy on its workforce and in particular trade union activities, according to documents seen by Mediapart. When the French trade union in question, the CGT, decided to make a formal legal complaint, the group offered it a deal worth four million euros in return for withdrawing the complaint and keeping quiet about the snooping – a deal the union ultimately refused. Mediapart can also reveal that the three “spies” used by the healthcare firm came from a company which is linked to allegations that furniture retailer Ikea spied on its staff and customers in France. Mathilde Goanec and Mathilde Mathieu report.

Hardliner takes helm of France's CGT union

France — Link

Election of 'hard case' Philippe Martinez could make it harder for President François Hollande to get backing for economic reforms.

Union claims Muslim French rail workers 'barred from contact with Peres'

International — Link

French rail operator SNCF denies union claims that it barred black and Arab workers from contact with Israeli president during a recent Paris visit.

War graves desecrated as leaders of France and Germany urge closer European union

International — Link

Desecration of graves of Germans killed in World War I and buried in a French cemetery clouds historic meeting.