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France

Massive turnout against labour law

Monday 20 March 2006

The demonstrations called by student and workers’ unions on 18 March against the CPE labour law were a big success - estimates ranged from half a million to one and a half million nationwide.

In Paris the "youth contingents" at the front took more than two hours to pass. The trade-union contingents behind were quite small - this was in part because many of them were fed up with waiting for the demonstration to start and moved up to join in the contingents at the front.

The meeting of the trade-union confederations on Saturday night gave the government 48 hours to announce what they would do. The university and high-school students have called for a new national day of action on Thursday 23rd.

The CFDT union wants to find a compromise with the government and the CGT is not keen to call for national strike. However if the government doesn’t move the likely date for a trade-union call is the 28th. The press are in general being more "left" than the reality and talking about calls for a general strike, although the confederations are notusing this term.

Opinion polls show mounting oppositioon to this new law.

Images below by Patrice Leclerc, Phototheque

JPEG - 65.3 kb

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