Macron readies French government for labor reform battle

French President Emmanuel Macron says it's too early to surrender to pessimism, even as he faces sinking approval ratings and upcoming protests against a pro-business labor reform.

As France's politicians return from summer vacations, Macron met with government ministers Monday and told them "I hope that you are well-rested ... and that you have regained your strength to attack this return to work."

While he acknowledged that "some are predicting the worst," he insisted "we shouldn't give in to the pessimists."

Macron's popularity quickly tanked after his May election amid a series of domestic bungles. His government is set to unveil changes to labor law later this week that would notably reduce union powers. Unions and far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon plan protests against the changes next month.