French President Francois Hollande’s government sought a compromise with unions and student groups in an effort to keep what may be its last major economic reform from failing.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls dropped a clause in proposed legislation that would have capped severance pay for firings and offered fresh funds to support untrained youths after a week of intense talks with unions, students and business lobbies and two days of protests.
“Many things have been said in every direction,” Valls said Monday at a press conference in Paris. “What we’ve found today is an intelligent compromise.”
Valls declined to provide much detail on what measures will be included in the law to increase labor flexibility, though he vowed to press ahead with reform. While the CGT union and one student group are still opposing the government proposals, the CFDT union that has cooperated with Hollande on other reforms indicated that the changes to the draft law may be enough to win its support.
The law now “potentially” offers “progress for youth and employees,” CFDT Secretary General Laurent Berger said after meeting with Valls and his ministers.