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Hundreds Of Thousands Protest Over French Job Law

Protesters in Paris on March 28 (epa) March 28, 2006 -- Hundreds of thousands of French employees staged a one-day general strike or marched through the streets to get the government to abandon a new youth job law.

Public transportation was disrupted in tens of towns and cities, while a third of flights from French airports were cancelled. Schools, post offices, banks, and government offices were also disrupted.

There were reports of isolated skirmishes but not on the same scale as violence that marred protests last week. Thousands of extra police were deployed in Paris.

The new law would allow companies to dismiss young workers during their first two years on the job. It was proposed to lower youth unemployment, but critics say it will remove vital labor protections.

(compiled from agency reports)