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French government uses special power to pass labour reform

Published 10/05/2016

French Labour, Employment and Social Dialogue Minister Myriam El Khomri (AP)
French Labour, Employment and Social Dialogue Minister Myriam El Khomri (AP)

The French government has decided to use special powers to pass a hotly contested labour reform without vote in the lower house of parliament.

The decision to use the article 49-3 of the Constitution was made after the government failed to find a compromise on the bill with legislators and convened a brief emergency Cabinet meeting.

The reform has divided the governing Socialist party, where a group of rebels refuses to vote for it.

The conservative opposition has warned it will file a censure motion if the government uses the article 49-3.

The reform, which would make it easier to lay off workers, weaken some union powers, and relax rules regulating the country's 35-hour work week, has sparked violent protests across the country in recent weeks.

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