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Protests over French labor overhaul grip Paris, other cities

• http://hosted.ap.org, By PHILIPPE SOTTO

he day of protests was the first collective outcry against President Emmanuel Macron's bid to power the economy and boost jobs by tackling France's rigid labor rules to make it easier to hire and fire workers.

The hard-line CGT union called for strikes and organized some 180 marches against the changes, unveiled last month by Macron's government.

Union leader Philippe Martinez told the crowd in Paris that reforming labor rules was a futile effort to create jobs.

"No reform which has destroyed the labor law ... has reversed the unemployment trend," Martinez said at the Place de la Bastille, the starting point of the Paris march. Such reforms don't lead to "a job with which one can build his life on."

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