World

Protesters clash with Peru police over new law that strips young workers of some labor rights

  • Police detain a young man who identified himself as a working student as he protests a new labor law that affects young workers in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. This is the fourth protest by youths in the last month since Peru's Congress approved in December a controversial law that eliminates some labor rights for workers age 18 to 24. The law takes away their right to severance pay, two annual bonuses, and reduces vacation time from 30 to 15 days per year. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

    Police detain a young man who identified himself as a working student as he protests a new labor law that affects young workers in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. This is the fourth protest by youths in the last month since Peru's Congress approved in December a controversial law that eliminates some labor rights for workers age 18 to 24. The law takes away their right to severance pay, two annual bonuses, and reduces vacation time from 30 to 15 days per year. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police confront students to disperse their protest against a new labor law that affects young workers in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. It was the fourth protest by youths in the last month since Peru's Congress approved in December a controversial law that eliminates some labor rights for workers age 18 to 24. The law takes away their right to severance pay, two annual bonuses, and reduces vacation time from 30 to 15 days per year. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

    Police confront students to disperse their protest against a new labor law that affects young workers in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. It was the fourth protest by youths in the last month since Peru's Congress approved in December a controversial law that eliminates some labor rights for workers age 18 to 24. The law takes away their right to severance pay, two annual bonuses, and reduces vacation time from 30 to 15 days per year. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police detain a student during a protest against a new labor law that affects young workers in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. This is the fourth protest by youths in the last month since Peru's Congress approved in December a controversial law that eliminates some labor rights for workers age 18 to 24. The law takes away their right to severance pay, two annual bonuses, and reduces vacation time from 30 to 15 days per year. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

    Police detain a student during a protest against a new labor law that affects young workers in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. This is the fourth protest by youths in the last month since Peru's Congress approved in December a controversial law that eliminates some labor rights for workers age 18 to 24. The law takes away their right to severance pay, two annual bonuses, and reduces vacation time from 30 to 15 days per year. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of Peruvians marched in at least 11 cities Thursday night to protest against a new law that strips workers between ages 18 and 24 of some labor rights, and some of the demonstrations turned violent.

In Lima, some of the more than 5,000 marchers clashed with tear gas-hurling police, pelting them with sticks and stones and setting fire to trash in street bins.

Sixteen police officers were injured, one seriously, and 20 people were arrested in the capital, Interior Minister Daniel Urresti told reporters. There was no immediate word on civilian injuries.

The march was the fourth against the law since Congress passed it in early December with minimal debate. Critics say it favors employers, converting one in 15 Peruvians into cheap labor.

Under the law, workers ages 18 to 24 who are dismissed will not get severance pay. Workers in the age group also will now be entitled to only half the vacation time given to older employees.

And young workers won't be paid the twice yearly bonuses of one month's wages standard for others.