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French labor reform

French parliament adopts Macron's labor reform shakeup

The French Senate has approved President Emmanuel Macron's push to reform the labor code by decree. Loosening workplace law was one of the central planks of his recent election campaign.

Frankreich Blockade in Douchy les Mines (picture alliance/NurPhoto/J. Pitinome)

Will Macron's reforms run into protest such this in May 2016?

Wednesday's Senate vote - the last step in France's parliamentary process - followed the green light given Macron's bill Tuesday by the National Assembly, despite warnings from hard-line leftist unions.

The Senate, France's upper house, adopted the final text of Macron's reform bill which seeks to streamline negotiating channels in workplacesthat deal with issues from working hours to safety - matters currently handled by a plethora of workers' committees.

Frankreich Senat (picture alliance/IP3 PRESS/MAXPPP)

France's Senate building in Paris

Leftist France Unbowed parliamentarians accused novice lawmakers of Macron's Republic on the Move (REM) party of being "stooges" endorsing the bill which they said would unravel decades of social gains.

Hard-line union plans protest

The hard-line CGT union has called for countrywide strikes and protests on September 12. Other unions have adopted a wait-and-see approach. Employers have welcomed the imminent changes.

By executive order

Macron and his new government plan to pass a series of measures by executive order in late September. Details are to be unveiled in August.

His government has promised more freedom for employers as well as more security for employees.

Prior to his election in May, Macron had made job creation his top priority, given that some 3.5 million French are out of work, many of them young.

That is 9.6 percent of the labor force, according to the statistics agency Eurostat.

Employers cite disincentives to hiring such as lack of clarity on the amount of damages to be awarded in cases of dismissal.

ipj/jr (AFP, dpa, AP)

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