VIDEO & PHOTOS: Police Clash with Anti-Labor Law Protesters in Paris Turns Violent

Tue Jun 14, 2016 20:06:54

French police use teargas against anti-labor law protesters in the French capital as union workers go on strike over government labor reforms.


Tens of thousands of protesters from all over France flocked to Paris, as the city's iconic Eiffel Tower was closed due to workers' strike, for the massive anti-labor law demonstration on Tuesday.

The company operating the Eiffel Tower said in a statement that the monument was closed Tuesday “due to the national strike."

Seven unions and student organizations called for demonstrations against the proposed labor law, which is being debated in the Senate.

Union workers, rail workers and taxi drivers are also on strike.

The CGT labor union said the Paris march would be the biggest show of strength for three months.

About 700 buses were ferrying protesters to the capital for an afternoon march through the city center, CGT leader Philippe Martinez said.

Philippe Martinez (C), the secretary general of the French union confederation Confederation generale du travail (CGT), taking part in a demonstration against proposed labor reforms in Paris on June 14, 2016. (AFP Photo)

Paris police chief, Michel Cadot, said he expected "maybe more than 50,000 demonstrators" to participate in the protest rally in the capital.

Several previous protests had also descended into clashes between police and demonstrators.

President Francois Hollande's Socialist government has refused to withdraw the reform plan, which it forced through the lower house of parliament by decree, and was being debated in the Senate on Tuesday. The government is adamant that the new labor law will benefit the country’s economy and curb the high unemployment rate. The new law is expected to become official by July.

Workers believe the government's labor reforms will not benefit them in any way and make it easier and cheaper for owners of businesses to fire workers.

Tuesday's march comes at a time when police are struggling to ensure security during the month-long Euro 2016 soccer tournament with France still on maximum terror alert after the deadly terrorist attacks that killed 130 people in November.

S/SH 11

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