The call to action from the French teachers union SNES

Many schools were closed across France on Thursday as students and teachers joined mass protests against government plans to reform labour laws. The reforms, which the government of Francois Hollande is attempting to enact will make it much easier for businesses to sack their workers.

Already in France over 25% of young people are unemployed and many others are on short term contracts or doing unpaid 'internships'. Young protesters held banners saying '60 hours a week, is that normal?' and 'Look at your Rolex, it's time for an uprising.'

Polls show that 58% of the French population is opposed to the new laws. While some 'reform' minded union leaders have accepted the new laws, over a million people were on the streets across France, led by the young but with teachers, rail workers, airline workers and others also taking part.

The teachers union SNES called all its members out on Thursday and linked the  labour reforms to the reforms of the public education system which they are also engaged in fighting. One of the unions taking part in the protests said in a statement: “Clearly, this bill will not lead to the necessary job creation, will make insecurity more widespread and will deepen professional inequality, notably for women and young people.”