French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday met with trades union leaders to discuss the sweeping labour law reforms he plans to introduce this summer, which were a key element of his election manifesto and which include making hiring and firing easier, moving wage bargaining to company level and capping financial awards to employees by labour tribunals.
Finance minister Michel Sapin says CGT union is holding France hostage and that government will take the necessary action to end blockade.
From 2019, most employees in private sector will have to work until 63 to get full pension, but will get a bonus if they delay retirement until 64.
Xavier Broseta says he bears no grudges over Paris attack by airline workers but insists redundancy plans must go ahead.
Morena Henriquez packs airline meals for more than 10 hours a day in a refrigerated area. Chef Rafael León has to provide his own knives and sometimes squats on the floor to prepare the in-flight meals because he has no work surface. Both earn minimal wages. These are not workers in a developing country but staff at a Los Angeles-based associate of airline giant Air France-KLM. They flew to Paris recently to confront the airline's shareholders over their miserable working conditions. And now its management has finally agreed to intervene on their behalf with its American partner. Dan Israel reports on the fight against working conditions that one French trade union official has described as “modern-day slavery”.
Under new proposals councils would be allowed to grant trading licences on 12 Sundays a year, compared to the current five.
Employers' federation calls for cutting two public holidays out of 11 and allowing the very poor to be paid less than the minimum wage.
Two unions said they will shun crucial talks scheduled for Tuesday, accusing President Hollande of siding with employers over job creation plans.
Unions have threatened boycott of the talks on job creation, accusing government of failing to make employers keep their end of the bargain.
The rival marches saw protests at the government's austerity plan, while the far-right held its traditional Paris rally in tribute to Joan of Arc.
Paris police say 10,000 people joined demonstrations over Hollande's 'responsibility pact' which aims to slash labour costs, unions claim 60,000.
French president used yearly address to employers and unions to insist firms must invest and hire young and older workers to get the labour tax break.
Hiring of foreign staff at lower cost on temporary contracts under EU law has stirred political outrage and embarrassed socialist government in Paris.
No major disruptions were reported as tens of thousands took to the streets over reforms some unions have denounced as 'anti-youth'.
Hardline unions denounce changes they say will penalize workers and make youths pay an unfair share of the burden.