France unveils labor reforms 

French President Emmanuel Macron’s government has announced reforms to loosen labor regulations and drive down unemployment, drawing criticism from unions.

After weeks of negotiations with unions over the summer, the centrist government revealed measures including a cap on payouts for dismissals adjudged unfair and greater freedom to hire and fire.

The plan would also give companies more flexibility to adapt pay and working hours to market conditions.

For decades, governments of the left and right have tried to reform France’s strict labor rules, but have always diluted them in the face of street protests. “All of our fears have been confirmed,” said Philippe Martinez, head of the hard-left CGT union, after the government presented the decrees to unions and employers. He said the union would press ahead with its plan for a protest on September 12. Media agencies

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