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IMF Backs Hollande’s Labor Market Reform as ‘Big Step Forward’

  • Unions blocking oil refineries in bid to stop change in law
  • Fund lifts France’s 2016 growth forecast to 1.5 percent

The International Monetary Fund backed President Francois Hollande’s effort to modernize French labor laws even as unions resisted changes by blocking the nation’s oil refineries.

The law, named after Labor Minister Myriam El Khomri, eases restrictions on firing, replaces industry wide salary deals with company-level negotiations and reduces overtime pay. Hollande has used emergency measures to force it through parliament in the face of resistance from his own Socialist lawmakers.