France’s Finance Minister, Michel Sapin, urged workers to end a flood of nationwide strikes, saying they risked undermining signs of stronger growth and falling unemployment.
Rubbish piled up in parts of Paris as stoppages and pickets blocked waste treatment plants in one of a series of protests in different industries against plans to loosen labor market regulations.
“Unemployment is falling. This is not the moment to throw a spanner into the works with growth picking up,” Sapin told France Info radio.
On the eve of Euro 2016 soccer championship, the government was working overtime to thrash out a deal on working conditions with the SNCF state rail company and end a 9-day strike.
Many workers from the hardline CGT union, briefly blockaded France’s largest wholesale food market south of Paris while Air France pilots planned a four-day stoppage starting on Saturday, the day after the soccer contest opens.
Despite that there it looks like more strike actions against labor law reform spearheaded by the hardline CGT union was running out of steam, train services remained disrupted as millions of foreign visitors and soccer fans prepare for the month-long tournament that kicks off on Friday evening.
On his part, Sapin said that strikes have no impact.