Unions fire warning shot at French government

AFP , Wednesday 29 Aug 2012

The head of the most powerful French trade union warns government against implementing austerity measures, calls for October demo

The leader of France's most powerful trade union bloc on Wednesday warned the Socialist government that EU-required austerity measures would be met with fierce resistance this autumn.

Bernard Thibault, head of the influential CGT confederation, called for mass demonstrations on October 9 in defence of jobs and said unions would campaign against the ratification of a European Union treaty on budget reform that requires France and other member states to cut deficits.

"For us, the economic and social situation is becoming alarming," Thibault said in an interview with AFP. "Things have deteriorated badly since July."

Thibault said the CGT would be calling for demonstrations in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux and other French cities.

The union leader said the campaign against the ratification of the European treaty would be based on a petition against the accord which unions will seek to have signed by as many citizens as possible.

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