Strike Looms as Labor Dispute in France Heats Up

Francois Hollande the President of France insists that the controversial reform in labor will not be scratched as a strike looms for railways.

He told a local newspaper in Paris that the text of the reform assures the best performances for all businesses and it offers employees new rights.

Protesters did not agree as last week they clashed with police during marches opposed to the bill, which makes both the hiring and firing process easier.

There are a number of concerns that the Euro 2016 tournament, which is being hosted next week by France, might end up being disrupted.

In Paris, tourism chiefs have warned the unrest was causing visitors to stay away from one of the top destinations in the world.

A statement released by the tourist board said that the guerrilla type action seen in Paris streets and shown around the globe reinforces the fear factor and a great deal of misunderstanding.

The reputation of France’s capital as a being a safe destination already was hit by the deadly attack last November by radical militants from the Islamic State who killed 130 people during a bomb and gun attack.

At the same time, thousands of workers in the Belgium public sector are taking part in a national strike of 24 hours against cuts in the budget, changes in the daily working hours and an increase in the age of retirement.

Teachers, police officers as well as civil servants have joined the train drivers along with prison guard already striking.

A nationwide railway strike is scheduled to start on Wednesday in France according to what the state rail company announced on Tuesday morning.

According to Le Monde a French newspaper, the strike will begin Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. local time while Le Figaro another newspaper said it would begin Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.

The Paris Metro will go on strike starting Thursday and six of the eight France refineries are still on strike or running at a reduced capacity because of action by unions.

Pilots for Air France voted to strike for a minimum of six days during June in another dispute over targets of productivity set by the airline.

The reform in labor, which has a goal of making the labor market much more flexible, was pushed quickly through parliament’s lower house without even a vote.

On June 14, unions have planned a national day of action when the bill arrives at the Senate.

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