Europe

France's government to present controversial labor reform

  • French Labour, Employment and Social Dialogue Minister Myriam El Khomri, leaves the Elysee Palace after the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, Thursday, March 24, 2016. France's Socialist government is due to formally present a contested labor reform that aims to amend the 35-hour workweek and relax other labor rules. The bill is to be detailed Thursday at a Cabinet meeting. Student organizations and some worker unions have called on a day of street protests across France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

    French Labour, Employment and Social Dialogue Minister Myriam El Khomri, leaves the Elysee Palace after the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, Thursday, March 24, 2016. France's Socialist government is due to formally present a contested labor reform that aims to amend the 35-hour workweek and relax other labor rules. The bill is to be detailed Thursday at a Cabinet meeting. Student organizations and some worker unions have called on a day of street protests across France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)  (The Associated Press)

  • French Labour, Employment and Social Dialogue Minister Myriam El Khomri, speaks to the media after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, March 24, 2016. France's Socialist government is due to formally present a contested labor reform that aims to amend the 35-hour workweek and relax other labor rules. The bill is to be detailed Thursday at a Cabinet meeting. Student organizations and some worker unions have called on a day of street protests across France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

    French Labour, Employment and Social Dialogue Minister Myriam El Khomri, speaks to the media after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, March 24, 2016. France's Socialist government is due to formally present a contested labor reform that aims to amend the 35-hour workweek and relax other labor rules. The bill is to be detailed Thursday at a Cabinet meeting. Student organizations and some worker unions have called on a day of street protests across France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)  (The Associated Press)

  • High school students march during a demonstration against a labor reform, in Paris, Thursday, March 24, 2016. France's Socialist government is due to formally present a contested labor reform that aims to amend the 35-hour workweek and relax other labor rules. Poster reads: El Khomri, what stupidity. Myriam el Khomri is the French Labor minister. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    High school students march during a demonstration against a labor reform, in Paris, Thursday, March 24, 2016. France's Socialist government is due to formally present a contested labor reform that aims to amend the 35-hour workweek and relax other labor rules. Poster reads: El Khomri, what stupidity. Myriam el Khomri is the French Labor minister. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

France's Socialist government is due to formally present a contested labor reform that aims to amend the 35-hour workweek and relax other labor rules.

The bill is to be detailed Thursday at a Cabinet meeting. Student organizations and some worker unions have called on a day of street protests across France.

The government and businesses claim the changes would help boost the economy by making it easier for companies to hire and fire workers. France's unemployment rate is hovering at 10 percent.

The protesters say the bill would badly damage employees' rights.

The proposal technically maintains the 35-hour workweek, but allows companies to organize alternative working times without following industry-wide deals. Workers would be able to put in a 48-hour workweek or 12-hour shifts.