French cities rocked by protests over labor reform bill

French-cities-rocked-by-protests-over-labor-reform-bill.  PARIS,Violent protests across France against the government’s labor reform bill led to clashes with police and 77 arrests.

Protesters face security forces as violence erupted Thursday during a demonstration against the government’s proposed labor a law in Paris. Some 300,000 people protested nationwide, the CGT union reported, but police put the figure lower. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI | License Photo

Police threw tear gas at demonstrators in Paris on Thursday after protesters allegedly smashed bank windows. In the cities of Bordeaux and Nantes, the demonstrators allegedly threw projectiles at targeted police stations.

The CGT union of energy workers said more than300,000 people participated nationwide; police put the figure at 153,000.

The Interior Ministry and Paris police said 15 police officers were injured in clashes with protesters.

The union blocked fuel supply shipments from refineries and parts of the national public transport system, causing 40 percent of France’s gas stations to run out of fuel, and 16 of 19 nuclear power plants to reduce output.

The day of protest in major cities was in response to proposed legislation weakening the power of unions, the intent of which Prime Minister Manuel Valls said would remain unchanged, although he said “improvements and modifications” could be made.

A second demonstration was planned in Paris Friday.

Another militant trade union, the SUD, called for a strike of Paris’ public transport system to begin June 10, coinciding with the Euro 2016 soccer playoffs, unless the government relents.

By Ed Adamczyk