France's Macron says his job not 'cool', cites talks with Turkey's Erdogan

France's President Emmanuel Macron walks down the steps of the Elysee Palace with his newly adopted dog a labrador crossed griffon named Nemo as he prepares to welcome the President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou in Paris France Monday Aug. 28 2017

The French government said on August 31 it would cap unfair dismissal payouts and give companies more flexibility to adapt pay and working hours to market conditions.

The key reforms include reducing severance pay, allowing small and and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to negotiate with employees on working terms without a trade union mandate, encouraging short-term contracts and limiting the appealing time to labor courts. Addressing the annual employers' conference, MEDEF's President Pierre Gattaz called for the simplification of the labour code, moving towards an easy-fire, easy-hire model. We have entered into a dialogue in a loyal fashion, while making propositions....

Edouard Philippe, the prime minister, unveiled 36 measures, to be passed in five executive orders, that will cut through the jungle of regulations contained in the notoriously dense, 3,000-page labour code. "It was a missed opportunity to strengthen social dialogue and negative provisions for employees", he told French media.

President Emmanuel Macron's most daring undertaking, reforming France's almost sacrosanct labor laws, got cheers and jeers as it went public Thursday.

The boss of the hard-left Force Ouvriere union, Jean-Claude Mailly, said he disagreed with some of the changes, but like Berger suggested he would not recommend his members join street protests.

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The centrist president has defied the country's powerful trade unions who are threatening to bring the country to a halt through strike action.

Far-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon will lead his own September 23 protest rally against the reforms.

It's part of a larger program by Macron to stimulate the sluggish French economy.

He argues the measures are needed to introduce greater flexibility in France's rigid labour law to encourage hiring.

Also included is a plan that firms with fewer than 50 employees could negotiate with workers' representatives that not affiliated with unions. "Very directly and very frankly", Macron said in an interview with French weekly Le Point published on Wednesday. Both men said they had agreed on the need to move forward on divisive issues such as Syria and Ukraine.

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