Over the past three months France has witnessed hundreds of thousands of people taking part in demonstrations against the government's decision to impose a new labour law. Lead by the CGT (Confédération Générale du Travail) who want the reform withdrawn, the protests have seen workers, students and social media-driven groups, such as Nuit Debout, merge together in a quest to make their voices heard.

France labour reforms
A man holds flowers in one hand and a flare in the other as he faces riot police during a protest against the government's planned labour reform in LyonJean-Philppe Ksiazek/AFP

Using article 49.3 of the French constitution to push through the reform bill, the law, if passed by Hollande's Socialist government, would make it easier for companies to fire their employers if difficult economic circumstances arose. It would affect the rights of many French citizens, and would also allow firms to opt out of national labour protection rules if they create in-house deals on pay and conditions with the consent of the majority of their staff.

President Francois Hollande has warned the anti-reform protesters that he will not back down from his decision. Prime Minister Manuel Valls has also insisted the government will not withdraw the law, but that there could be some tweaks to the reforms although not on any of its key areas.

France labour reforms
A demonstrator carries a smoking flare in NantesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP

Over the past few days the demonstrations have escalated. Workers have set up picketers and barricades blocking access to a large fuel-distribution depot, causing the country to experience a severe petrol shortage. According to Reuters, some 741 of oil major Total's 2,200 filling stations were out of fuel, compared with 784 the day before.

In the Seine Maritime region north of Paris, local government prefect Nicole Klein said the number of petrol stations without fuel had fallen significantly and lifted rationing orders.

France labour reforms
A man with a mask is pictured as workers on strike are evacuated by riot policemen as they block the access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
Workers on strike march away as they are evacuated by riot police after blocking the access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
Workers on strike are evacuated by riot police as they block the access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
Workers on strike hold hands in front of French riot policemen to block the access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
Workers on strike set up a fire barricade to block the access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
Riot police stand during the evacuation of workers on strike blocking the access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
Tyres that have been set alight in front of an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
Workers on strike link hands in front of riot police as they attempt to block access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
Workers on strike block the access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP

The CGT union has said that its members who were at the CIM oil terminal at Le Havre's port, which deals with 40% of France's crude oil import, had voted to extend their strike until 30 May. While the CGT members sought to cut off France's fuel supplies, those in other areas have continued their protests. Cities such as Nantes, Lyon and Paris have seen demonstrators marching down the street, adorned with placards determined for change.

The street demonstrations, which happened throughout the country on 26 May, saw 77 people arrested, a fraction of the some 150,000 people who took part in the marches, according to the Interior Ministry. So far the demonstrations have resulted in 1,300 arrests.

Concerns have now been raised about potential disruption to the Euro 2016 football tournament, which begins on 10 June. CGT leader Philippe Martinez laid the responsibility on the government. "As long as the government refuses to talk, there is a risk that the movement intensifies," he told Reuters.

France labour reforms
Workers on strike block the access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
A man with French CGT union's jacket examines a fire blockade as workers on strike block access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
Men stand next to a fire and a van with French CGT union's flags as workers on strike block the access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
Men stand next to a fire as workers on strike block the access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of DongesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
A protester holds a smoke canister and a placard that translates as 'We want to live up' during a demonstration against the government's planned labour reform in LyonJean-Philppe Ksiazek/AFP
France labour reforms
A protester returns tear gas with a tennis racket, during a protest against the government's labour market reforms in ParisJean-Francois Monier/AFP
France labour reforms
Riot police officers stand guard in NantesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
A demonstrator wears a shirt referencing Article 49-3 of France's Constitution, allowing for reform by decree in NantesJean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP
France labour reforms
People cross railway lines during a protest against the government's labour law reforms in RennesJean-Francois Monier/AFP
France labour reforms
A demonstrator looks on as riot police arrest protestors in NantesJean-Sebastian Evrard/ AFP
France labour reforms
A demonstrator carries stickers in NantesJean-Sebastian Evrard/ AFP
France labour reforms
A demonstrator wears a sticker featuring France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls in NantesJean-Sebastian Evrard/ AFP
France labour reforms
A demonstrator blows on a horne in NantesJean-Sebastian Evrard/ AFP
France labour reforms
A girl wears a sticker on her scarf which translates as 'No discussion, no compromise, repeal the law' during a demonstration against France's planned labour reform in LyonJean-Philppe Ksiazek/AFP
France labour reforms
Riot police arrest a demonstrator during a protest against the government's labour market reforms in ParisAlain Jocard AFP
France labour reforms
People hold road signs during a protest against the government's labour law reforms in RennesJean-Francois Monier/AFP
France labour reforms
Riot police stand line near flowers thrown on the floor during a demonstration against the government's planned labour reform in LyonJean-Philppe Ksiazek/AFP