France

French Workers Fight for Right to Work on Sundays

Most stores prohibited from opening

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When economic inequalities helped foment the French Revolution, the legendary cry from on high was, "Let them eat cake!" Now, as modern France struggles economically, the cry from below is, "Let us work!"

As France battles high unemployment, rising taxes and pinched pocketbooks, the Socialist government has said its main focus is job creation. Now, critics of a more-than-century-old law that prevents most stores from opening on Sundays say revising it would be a good step in that direction.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault appeared to respond to that call on Monday, ordering a review of the law that labor unions and Roman Catholic faithful cherish, but that consumers — and increasingly some workers — decry.