French Protesters Rampage on Labor Law

French Protesters Rampage on Labor Law

PARIS (AP) -- Protesters in Paris smashed store windows and damaged cars after French President Francois Hollande said he would not abandon a labor bill that has prompted weeks of sometimes violent demonstrations.

The Paris police department said groups of troublemakers damaged a supermarket, a jobs center, bus stops and electric cars used in a municipal car-sharing service, among other businesses, in a late-night march Thursday.

The violence came shortly after Hollande was questioned on national television about the bill, which is aimed at loosening labor rules to encourage companies to hire. Hollande's left-wing base considers it a betrayal of France's hard-fought worker protections.

The government has amended it in the face of resistance, but Hollande insisted: "It won't be withdrawn."

Most of the protesters, led by unions and students, have been peaceful.

(KA)