In direct talks with the French government, union leaders have said they want a controversial youth jobs law withdrawn by April 15.
These were the first negotiations between the two sides since protests, some of which have been violent, began two months ago. The centre-right government is meeting 12 unions separately over today and tomorrow. Speaking after their encounter, the leader of the CFDT group said there had been little progress. “We asked for the CPE to be repealed as soon as possible. They had nothing to say. We didn’t get any response.” Asked what unions would do if the April 15 deadline was not met, another spokesman said: “Nothing was ruled out”. The law is intended to cut youth unemployment but critics say a provision allowing employers to hire and fire young people more easily will cause job insecurity.