Union Leader Renews General Strike Threat

March 19, 2006 - Posted at 1:29 p.m. CST

PARIS (AP) _ A union leader in France is repeating his threat

about a general strike to press the French government to scrap a

controversial jobs plan.

That plan has sent tens of thousands of people into the streets

this weekend for protests that turned violent in Paris and led to

nearly 200 arrests. Authorities say more than 50 people were hurt

in clashes between demonstrators and police.

Students and employee unions say they are giving the prime

minister until tomorrow night to withdraw the jobs measure. It

would allow businesses to fire young workers in the first two years

on a job without giving a reason, removing them from protections

that restrict layoffs of regular employees.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)