[JURIST] The French Senate [official website] Thursday voted 158-123 to approve compromise labor legislation [legislative materials] to replace the controversial CPE First Employment Contract [JURIST news archive; JURIST document], completing a governmental retreat from the controversial youth job plan that would have stripped young workers of job protection. The bill, passed [JURIST report] Wednesday by the National Assembly, is expected to be signed into law by President Jacques Chirac [official website] within 15 days.
The new bill calls for increased training and internships for youths, and overturns the CPE exception to French labor laws that would have allowed employers to fire workers under the age of 26 without cause at any time during the first two years of their employment. The CPE, signed into law [JURIST report] by Chirac earlier this month as a solution to youth unemployment, which has risen to 22% nationwide, instigated massive protests [JURIST report] across the country. AP has more.