PARIS – Students protesting France's new youth labor law blocked a convoy carrying parts of an Airbus A380 superjumbo jet to a factory in southwestern France on Thursday, police said.
About 100 students sat down on the road in front of the convoy when it was about a kilometer (half a mile) away from the assembly factory outside the city of Toulouse. The overnight protest was calm, and students were dispersed about two-and-a-half hours after they arrived, police said.
Students and unions have been in a weeks-long standoff with the conservative government over the law, which will make it easier for companies to hire and fire young workers.
Massive marches Tuesday drew more than 1 million protesters for the second time in a week, and brought renewed violence. The turnout put unions in a position of strength as they headed into discussions with ruling party lawmakers, which continued Thursday.
France's biggest trade unions on Wednesday set a 10-day deadline for the government to revoke the divisive jobs law or face more mayhem. Meanwhile, scattered protests continued. Demonstrators also blocked the highway outside the western French city of Nantes on Thursday.
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin championed the law to stem youth unemployment rates of 22 percent, and as high as 50 percent in some depressed, heavily immigrant suburbs hit by weeks of riots last year. Critics say the law will hurt job security.