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French Government Faces Angry Drivers

January 13, 2000

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The French government managed to end two days of blockades by truck owners earlier this week, but now it faces the wrath of truck drivers who are calling for their own blockades.

The truck owners were protesting a 35-hour work week being implemented by the government to try to cut unemployment. The deal worked out to end the blockades calls for both short-haul and long-haul truckers to be exempted from the law. French drivers will be allowed to drive up to 55 hours per week, but must be paid overtime after the 35 hours.
Truck drivers aren't happy with the deal, and have called for traffic blockades on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.
In an attempt to head off further protests, the French government said Thursday it will hire 36% more inspectors to make sure that truckers aren't forced to driver more than 55 hours per week.
France's Constitutional Council Thursday approved the controversial shorter work week law, which takes effect Feb. 1.

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