French labor unions staged fresh protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s contested labor law reforms Thursday — a day before he adopts them by executive order.
The nationwide action backed by the powerful, hard-left CGT trade union, saw protesters take to the streets in the second round of public opposition to the long-touted reforms that will give more power to employers to hire and fire workers. Macron says that’s needed to power the stagnant French economy and boost jobs.
In cities across the country, demonstrators waved anti-capitalist placards and angry personal messages against Macron, whose popularity has recently taken a hit.
In Paris, demonstrators brandishing posters reading “The state ruins the people” marched past the posh La Rotonde restaurant where Macron was branded arrogant for prematurely celebrating his victory in the first round of the elections before he had won the presidency.
The latest protests come a week after hundreds of thousands of protesters — half a million, according to the unions — took to the streets in the first major challenge to Macron’s fledgling presidency.
Macron is waving away the opposition and his government is pressing ahead with the labor reforms, backed by a robust majority in parliament.