France hit by power cuts, strikes & clashes with police as labor law protests deepen (PHOTOS, VIDEO) — RT News

Households and businesses throughout France have been left without power as part of a strike by union workers against the country’s controversial labor reform. It comes as demonstrators hit the streets to voice their opposition to the legislation.

Power cuts in Saint-Nazaire led to some 120,000 households being left without electricity just after 11am local time on Thursday, BFM TV cited Loire-Atlantique prefecture as saying.

Electricity was also shut off at the town hall of Tulle, and over 1 million homes in the Paris region were switched over to a low-cost power supply, Reuters reported.

It comes after members of the CGT union at 16 of France’s 19 nuclear plants – which provide the majority of the country’s electricity – voted for a one-day strike Wednesday.

Along with addressing sector-specific demands, the strikes and power cuts are aimed at protesting a much contested labor law reform forced through by President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government, which will make it easier for employers to hire and lay off workers.

Almost half the country’s rail services were also brought to a halt on Thursday. The CGT said its workers briefly halted departures from the Gare de Lyon station in Paris by occupying the rail traffic control office.

The CGT also said it cut off power to the holiday home of the leader of French employers’ body MEDEF, Pierre Gattaz, after he accused the union earlier this week of acting like “terrorists” and “thugs.”

Dock workers also joined the movement in the northern French city of Le Havre.

But union workers weren’t the only ones voicing their disapproval of the labor reform law on Thursday. Ordinary citizens across the country also organized protests against the legislation.

Five policemen were injured during clashes with protesters in Toulouse and two people were arrested, according to the local prefecture. Demonstrators in the city blocked an exit on the ring road, La Depeche reported.

Reporting from Paris, RT’s Anastasia Churkina tweeted that protesters were gathered in the French capital and will soon organize a march.

Source: France hit by power cuts, strikes & clashes with police as labor law protests deepen (PHOTOS, VIDEO) — RT News

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