A fifth week of vacation won by unions in France

Management and labor unions ended three years of talks by agreement on wide-ranging reforms including a statutory fifth week of annual paid vacation and reduction in the basic weekly working hours from 40 to 39 -- the number since 1936.

Only the powerful Communist union did not immediately say it would sign the accord, which has to be passed by Parliament before it becomes law. Union officials did not expect the National Assembly would vote on the agreement before September.

The unions will continue to seek a 35-hour work week, which the Socialists pledged during presidential and parlia mentary elections.

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