Series of protest have broken out across France, right after the government passed the bill concerning the controversial labor reforms. In Nantes, smoke filled the streets as the demonstrators clashed with security forces. Tear gas was fired at the demonstrators by the police outside the National Assembly in Paris.
Earlier, the cabinet gave permission to use special powers to pass the changes which would not require the parliament’s approval. The socialist government of France had said, in order to help lessen the rate of unemployment in the country, this reform was essential. The employers will find it easy to hire and fire a person, with this new change in the labor law but there are fears amongst the opponents that the employers would misuse this law to bypass workers rights on overtime, pay, and breaks.
Months of resistance to the bill was faced by President Francois Hollande from unions, students and even from his own Socialist Party members. President Hollande was asked to resign by the demonstrators outside the National Assembly. The protest lasted till late night.
Tear gas was used against the protesters by the police in Grenoble and Montpellier. Demonstrations were also seen at Lille, Marseille, and Tours. Two young protesters were injured in Toulouse. The decision to implement an article of the constitution in order to force through the reforms was made due to the failure of the government in reaching a compromise on the bill with the members of the rebel socialist. Only once this tactic was used under President Hollande, and then also was used to resolve disputed economic reforms.
At least 200 schools were closed down by the students, and striking rail workers obstructed rail services across France, protesting against the proposed reforms. The Eiffel Tower was shut for most days as there was not enough staff available for opening the tower with adequate security and reception conditions.