Photographer: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

French Rail, Air Traffic Disrupted by Hollande Labor Law Protest

  • Air France says 20 percent of domestic flights affected
  • Hollande has already watered down labor law overhaul

Public transport and airlines are expecting moderate disruptions today as French unions called for a strike and students prepared to demonstrated against proposals by President Francois Hollande’s government to revise the labor code - a law that has already been watered down after a previous round of protest.

The strike began Wednesday at 7 p.m. Paris time and is set to run through Thursday. Air France said that all its international flights and 80 percent of its domestic flights will operate normally. Rail operator SNCF said high-speed trains will operate “almost” normally, though only about half of commuter and regional inter-city trains will be running. The Paris metro says that three out of four trains are running.

French youths and activists of various youth organisations march during a demonstration against proposedlabour reforms in Lyon on March 24, 2016, during a demonstration against the implementation of the French Labour minister new labour legislation. Students have been at the forefront of protests over the reforms aimed at freeing up the job market and reining in France's 10 percent unemployment rate. The youths, along with unions and the left flank of Hollande's Socialist Party, say the reforms are too pro-business and threaten hallowed workers' rights. / AFP / JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK        (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)
French youths and activists protest against proposed labor reforms in Lyon on March 24.
Photographer: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP via Getty Images

Unions and students are protesting against a bill that Hollande and Labor Minister Myriam El Khomri have already weakened by dropping a cap on severance pay. They maintained some provisions that will make job cuts easier. The government also backtracked on giving small companies more powers to set working hours for their teams.

“Despite what the government is saying, the El Khomri law hasn’t changed,” the CGT union said on its website. “All the measures leave workers more precarious, forcing ever more flexibility to reduce the cost of work and swell financial profits.”

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