Protesters throwing planks of wood and Molotov cocktails clashed with Paris police firing tear gas and dispersion grenades on Thursday, as unions staged a last-ditch bid to dismantle a labor law that weakens their power.
While thousands of union activists marched peacefully through the French capital chanting about workers' rights and capitalist abuses, sporadic violence broke out between helmeted riot police and small groups of protesters.
At least six people were injured and five were arrested, according to the Paris police headquarters. Reporters for the Associated Press saw one protester with his face covered in blood and several people hit by police grenade pellets. One officer suffered leg burns after protesters tossed bottles containing flammable liquid at a cluster of riot police.
The protest was part of a day of nationwide labor actions against a law adopted this summer that allows employers more freedom to extend workweeks and lay off staff.
A series of strikes and huge protests against the law earlier this year frustrated tourists, stained France's image and reflected poorly on President François Hollande’s government.
The government hopes the measures will make France more competitive by encouraging hiring and investment. Unions say it damages hard-won worker rights. (AP)