French Court Strikes Down Law Giving Labor a Say in Asset Sales

France’s constitutional court struck down a law promised by President Francois Hollande that would have made it more difficult to shutter businesses, saying it contravened property rights.

The so-called “Florange Law” would have forced companies with more than 1,000 employees in France to document attempts to find a suitable buyer before shuttering a plant with more than 50 workers.

The law, named after a blast furnace in northeast France that the government tried to stop ArcelorMittal from closing in 2012, was already a watered-down version of pledges by Hollande during his election campaign to virtually block all factory closings.

Today’s decision said the law in effect allowed commercial court judges to decide in the place of management which assets to sell and to whom, hindering the right of companies to manage their own properties.

The constitutional court in 2012 also struck down the Hollande’s government first attempt to impose a 75 percent tax on incomes of more than 1 million euros ($1.38 million). To win passage through the court, Hollande later transformed the tax into a charge to be paid by employers of high-income staff.

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