Thousands of French youths are holding street protests to reject the government's new labor changes.

Over 100 high schools were closed across the country Thursday due to the protests called by student organizations and backed by some worker unions.

The main protest started in Paris' Republique Plaza in an enthusiastic atmosphere, with students shouting "No! No! No to the reform!"

Small groups of students had minor incidents with police.

The government bill plans to water down the country's 35-hour workweek and relax some labor rules in the hopes of boost hiring. The protesters, however, claim it would mostly damage the laws aiming to protect workers.

France has among the world's most stringent workers' rights laws. The government and businesses want the changes to make hiring and laying off workers easier.