Photos: Violence During Protests in France Against Labor Reform

By Denisse Moreno, Epoch Times
March 31, 2016 6:17 pm Last Updated: March 31, 2016 6:17 pm

About 28,000 workers and youths took to the streets in France to protest a labor reform, sparking some violence on March 31.

The reform would make it easier to hire and fire employees, and will also relax the nation’s strict 35-hour work week.

TOPSHOT - Protesters march during a demonstration against labour law reforms in the French capital Paris on March 31, 2016. France faced fresh protests over labour reforms  just a day after the beleaguered government of President Francois Hollande was forced into an embarrassing U-turn over constitutional changes. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON / AFP / THOMAS SAMSON        (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters march during a demonstration against labour law reforms in Paris on March 31, 2016. (Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images)

Demonstrators face riot police officers during a protest in Paris, Thursday, March 31, 2016. Student organizations and employee unions have joined to call for protests across France to reject the Socialist government's bill, which they consider as badly damaging hard-fought worker protections. Banner reads: Paris is magic. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Demonstrators face riot police officers during a protest in Paris, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Train drivers, teachers, and other workers went on strike, while student organizations and several employee unions got together to condemn the new measure.

“It’s shocking that a Socialist government introduced this law,” said Zoe Farre, 23, during a peaceful gathering in Paris.

Meanwhile, officials and businesses claim that the changes would help the economy and lower unemployment in the country.

Farre, who is unemployed, said she understood the argument that more flexibility means more jobs, but she was uncertain about the kinds of jobs the government was talking about.

“It’s going to be like the U.K. where you’re on a zero-hour contract or like the U.S. where they make you hold a sign in the street and call it a job,” she said.

A protester wearing a skull mask stands in front of riot police during a protest in Paris, France, Thursday, March 31, 2016. Student organizations and employee unions have joined to call for protests across France to reject the Socialist government's bill, which they consider as badly damaging hard-fought worker protections. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
A protester wearing a skull mask stands in front of riot police during a protest in Paris, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

A demonstrator throws a bottle during a protest in Paris, Thursday, March 31, 2016. Student organizations and employee unions have joined to call for protests across France to reject the Socialist government's bill, which they consider as badly damaging hard-fought worker protections. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
A demonstrator throws a bottle during a protest in Paris, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

In Paris, a few dozen protesters wearing hoods or masks disrupted a peaceful student demonstration to throw paint bombs at banks and stores. Other protesters smashed cash machines with bats or set of off smoke canisters while confronting authorities.

Confrontations also broke out between young protesters and the police in the cities of Nantes, Rennes, and Toulouse.

Protesters confront French riot police during a demonstration by unions and students close to the Gare de Lyon in the French capital Paris on March 31, 2016. France faced fresh protests over labour reforms  just a day after the beleaguered government of President Francois Hollande was forced into an embarrassing U-turn over constitutional changes. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON / AFP / THOMAS SAMSON        (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters confront French riot police during a demonstration by unions and students close to the Gare de Lyon in Paris on March 31, 2016. (Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images)

Demonstrators burn flares during a protest in Paris, Thursday, March 31, 2016. Some French train drivers, teachers and others are on strike to reject a government reform relaxing the 35-hour workweek and other labor rules. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Demonstrators burn flares during a protest in Paris, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The strike affected public transportation, schools, public hospitals, and state-owned broadcasters, while 20 percent of flights at Paris’ Orly airport were canceled.

State railway company SNCF warned travelers of disruptions to national and regional train traffic.

The Eiffel tower was forced to close, with officials stating there was a lack of staff to open the landmark with “sufficient security and reception conditions.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.