French union leader meets labour minister after demonstrations

The head of France's CGT union said planned protests would go ahead, even after a meeting with the country's labour minister on Friday, scuppering the prospect of a breakthrough during the first such meeting since strikes began in March.

The meeting between Labour Minister Myriam El-Khomri and CGT leader Philippe Martinez reflected an attempt to cooperate on resolving disputes about government-led labour reforms that have prompted months of occasionally violent strikes and demonstrations.

Earlier this week, the CGT came under criticism for its role in demonstrations that turned violent when approximately 1,000 people defaced business fronts and public buildings, including a children's hospital.

The CGT condemned the violence and said it had not taken part in the riots.

Paris' police chief said some 28 police and 11 demonstrators were injured during the protests, the latest in a series of actions that have also included strikes that delayed garbage collection in the capital and disrupted train traffic at the start of the European football championships.

CGT's Martinez told reporters after the meeting that there remained a lack of consensus between his union and the government, saying that the disagreements had been confirmed during the meeting with El-Khomri and reiterating calls for the measure to be withdrawn and changed.

El-Khomri separately said that disagreements remained, adding that it was a "constructive exchange," and pledging to consider the union's main points of contention. She also said the government would not back down on the central tenets of the law.

Last update: Fri, 17/06/2016 - 12:21
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