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French PM, Union Leaders Still Deadlocked on Youth Job Law


French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has met with trade union representatives for talks on a new youth employment law, but labor leaders report no progress on breaking the deadlock.

Union leaders say Mr. de Villepin rejected their calls for withdrawing the measure, which has sparked several weeks of protests and occasional rioting across the country. Labor representatives say Mr. De Villepin made only one concession, agreeing to meet with student leaders Saturday. They pledged to move forward with a general strike Tuesday.

The law, adopted earlier this month in efforts to deal with youth unemployment, allows companies to hire young workers for a two-year probationary period. Opponents argue the law lets bosses fire employees during the period without cause.

French police clashed Thursday with rioters in Paris, Grenoble, Rennes and Marseilles.

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