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French union protests keep pressure on Macron

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 01:47

One of France's most hardline unions is hoping to pressure President Emmanuel Macron over his labour reforms at nationwide protests planned on Thursday. As Ciara Lee reports it's all part of rising union discontent over the leader's plans to overhall the economy.

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French president Emmanuel Macron is starting to feel the heat as he tries to reform the labour market. These truck drivers just one group getting hot under collar as they gear up for nationwide protests on Thursday. Unionists say plans to make hiring and firing easier for employers will produce job insecurity and undermine workers' rights. (SOUNDBITE) (French) TRUCK DRIVER, CHARLES MORIT, SAYING: "For truck drivers the problems with these decrees is that industrial relations have been totally undermined, though they were meant to be the government's number one priority. Apparently the bosses have got what they wanted." Macron meanwhile is proving a hit in New York Attending the United Nations General Assembly, the leader has been described as a suitable broker in current international conflicts. Although some feel he would be wise to pay attention to frustrations at home. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "I think that the rising tide of protests are a real challenge from more so Macron he has laid out his stall, he was elected on the basis that he would introduce and push through reforms that were necessary to create real wealth within France. Any backsliding on the commitment to cut public expenditure and also therefore by extension to reform the labour markets will be bad news for him, bad news for France and bad news for the euro zone." Last week up to 400 000 people took to the streets to march against the changes. And Thursday's demo won't be the last , with many protests planned over the government's attempt to save billions of euros. 39 year old Macron has seen his approval rating slump since his resounding victory in May. But he's showing no sign of diluting his ambitious plans to retool the economy, including bringing down unemployment stuck above 9 percent for a decade.

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French union protests keep pressure on Macron

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 01:47