The “CPE”, or ‘first job contract’, has prompted controversy since it was first announced by the French Prime Minister in January. According to the French unions, more than 150 demonstrations are planned to take place across the country today protesting against the legislation. It is a big test for Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. He will argue for the new law to be adopted by the lower house of the French parliament today, as demonstrators gather outside.Under the CPE, applicable only for those under 26 or in companies with more than 20 people on the payroll, employees can be made redundant at any time in the first two years of their contract. Critics say that is akin to the state condemning a whole generation of young people to live in uncertainty. Opinion polls carried out for “L’Humanite” and “Les Echos” newspapers today claim the majority of French citizens believe the new law is a bad idea. A clear majority in both polls think today’s demonstrations are justified.
Protests in France against employment law