France - Massive protest against government's labour law reforms - March 31, 2016

The labour code (Code du Travail) has traditionally been regarded as untouchable, with successive governments making piecemeal amendments to it, lifting restrictions on layoffs and working hours, but without a comprehensive and total revision. The changes proposed by the current government are seen as a test of the reformist credentials of the government. The draft law aims to amend the 35-hour working week and relax other labour law rules. The 35-hour week would remain as the foundation, but the proposal would allow companies to organise alternative working times without industry-wide deals. Workers would also be able to put in a 48-hour week or 12-hour shifts. Seven unions and youth groups have been actively protesting throughout the country against the proposal and are demanding the complete withdrawal of the reforms. An online petition against the proposals has already gathered the record of 1,000,000 signatures.

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For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Willy De Backer For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit Since June 2013 readers can consult our archive and search through all articles in our database at www.cbnarchive.euYou may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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