labor reform

The French Left Is Destroying Itself

French strikes DPA
Is the left bent on destroying itself?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A proposed reform of France’s labor law has triggered a wave of protests backed by the left wing of President François Hollande’s Socialist Party. The conflict highlights the deep divisions within the party.

  • Facts


    • The labor law reform would shift power to companies, management and labor and away from the government.
    • The left wing of the Socialist Party is now openly attacking its own members in the administration and campaigning against reforms it views as neoliberal.
    • There have been street protests and strikes throughout France and labor unions have called for further strikes on Thursday.
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Amid railroad and airport strikes, and blockades of logistics centers and refineries, unions aligned with the Communists in France have ratcheted up their protests against a reform of the country’s labor law.

The left wing of the ruling Socialist Party, or PS, is fueling the resistance. Last week, it even attempted to topple its own prime minister with a vote of no confidence.

People abroad may laugh at the labor law as yet one more of President François Hollande’s mincing steps. But for the Socialists, it has become a fundamental point of contention that is dividing the party.

The left accuses Mr. Hollande of destroying decades of social rights and traditions and of encouraging “social dumping,” as the reform would enable more negotiations and decisions to take place within companies in the future.

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