French workers demonstrate against longer workweek bill Bernard Hibbitts at 9:31 AM ET
[JURIST] Hundreds of thousands of French workers took to the streets Saturday to protest pending legislation that would allow for extensions of France's 35-hour workweek. The legislation, first announced in December [JURIST report] and scheduled for first reading in the National Assembly [official website] this week [legislative materials in French], would permit companies to negotiate with workers for increased overtime. The reduced workweek law was adopted in 1998 as part of an effort to reduce French unemployment levels, but the government has since regarded it as a failed effort that has driven up labor costs. AFP has more. The French Prime Minister's website offers additional information on the workweek initiative (in French). From Paris, Le Figaro provides local coverage in French.
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