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PARIS – The Latest on the French government facing a no-confidence vote over labor law, and protests against the legislation (all times local):
French President Francois Hollande says the government's contested labor reform aims to maintain workers' rights while at the same time gives more flexibility to businesses to adapt to a globalized world.
Hollande said the bill "is designed for employees and for business leaders. I don't want to oppose them." He made the remarks during a visit to a French company specializing in 3-D printing, hours before the government faces a no-confidence vote.
Hollande has especially advocated one of the most contested measures of the bill that would give priority to company deals over industry-wide deals to organize the working hours of employees.
Hollande says "it's better when responsible unionists and a committed management are able to lay down the working rules."
The French president insisted that the reform wouldn't jeopardize workers protection legislation.
France's government is facing a major test as lawmakers hold a no-confidence vote, prompted by a deeply divisive labor law allowing longer workdays and easier layoffs.
Facing legislative gridlock and daily protests around the country, the Socialist government decided to force the bill through Parliament without a vote.
The conservative opposition objected, prompting a no-confidence vote Thursday. The legislation is not technically adopted unless the government survives that vote.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls and his government are likely to survive, but labor standoff has torn apart the Socialists and further damaged their chances at keeping the presidency in next year's elections.
More street protests are planned Thursday.