It is being reported that a half million people, mainly students and other youths, participated in protests and riots opposing a proposed change in French employment law, under which an employer would be able to lay off a new employee within the first two years of his employment:
Critics say the contract abolishes labor protections crucial to the social fabric.
“Aren’t we the future of France?” asked Aurelie Silan, a 20-year-old student who joined a river of protesters in Paris.
Waves of red union flags topped the densely packed crowd in Paris, which overflowed into side streets and stretched more than 3 1/2 miles under bright sunshine.
“Throw away the job contract, don’t throw away the youth!” chanted a group of students shaking tambourines. Many wore plastic bags to illustrate their feeling that the new law reduces young people to disposable workers.
The purpose of the plan, obviously, is to cut into France’s sky-high unemployment by allowing employers to hire young workers without making what has become virtually a lifetime commitment. If France’s university graduates are so ignorant of economics that they really can’t understand this, that country is in even deeper trouble than we thought.