France allows union protest march against labour bill

Paris: French police on Monday authorised planned trade union demonstrations against the government's new labour reform bill, which on Tuesday will be put to the vote in the Senate. A previous protest march, planned for June 23, was initially forbidden citing security reasons, although the ban was eventually lifted by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, on the condition of changing the rally's route and shortening its itinerary, EFE news reported. This temporary ban sparked widespread outcry from all trade unions, as well as from the political Left and even conservative sectors such as the far-right Front National. Tuesday's demonstration, the eleventh since the first details of the proposed law were leaked, is set to start at the Parisian Place de la Bastille and will end at the Place de la Nation. The march will coincide with the Senate vote on the bill, which is expected to finalise around 6 p.m. French media are predicting a lack of agreement between members of both houses -- the National Assembly and the Senate -- in the mixed committee reviewing the bill, which means it will probably return for another vote in the National Assembly on July 5. The government could invoke the French Constitution's Article 49.3 to pass the bill without a vote, a measure it already took on May 10 during the labour law's first reading when it was faced with a lack of favourable votes needed for approval.