French far-left leader rallies Macron critics to streets

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PARIS – French far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon is rallying disaffected voters against President Emmanuel Macron's plan to weaken worker protections.

Melenchon's party, Defiant France, says it is busing in protesters from more than 150 French towns for a protest march in Paris on Saturday. Other activist groups have promised to join.

Macron changed France's labor laws amid spreading discontent with his presidency on Friday by signing decrees that reduce unions' influence over workplace rules.

The decrees also make it easier for companies to fire workers. Macron says the change is needed to compete in the global economy. Opponents say he is dismantling the French lifestyle.

Melenchon wants the decrees withdrawn and is protesting what he calls the "authoritarian" way Macron imposed the reforms by bypassing parliamentary debate.

More protests are planned.

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