France PM walks back work week change

Oct. 31, 2012 at 3:11 PM

PARIS, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- France's Socialist prime minister is backtracking after suggesting the nation return to a 39-hour work-week, from its current 35 hours.

Jean-Marc Ayrault told Le Parisien he would be in favor of ending the practice, which ensures workers are paid overtime for anything after 35 hours in a week. Business groups looking to shed labor costs are seeking a return to the pre-2000 39-hour week. Socialists fought to reduce the required full-time hours and President Francois Hollande vowed to protect the reform during his campaign,the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

The Socialist Party's labor minister dismissed the idea and trade unions expressed their displeasure as well, the newspaper said.

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