Earlier on Thursday, after British Prime Minister Theresa May met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in the margin of the European Union summit in Brussels, a spokesperson of Downing 10 claimed that "the UK, Germany and France reaffirmed that there is no plausible explanation other than that the Russian state was responsible".
In the western city of Nantes, police said that an 8,500-strong march was marred by outbreaks of vandalism.
Trade unions of the National Society of Railroads (SNCF) and officials of the public sector lead the mobilizations registered in dozens of French citioes and which affect sectors like air transport, railroads, schools and hospitals.
"It's a real mess this morning", Didier Samba, who missed his morning commuter train to the suburbs and had more than one hour's wait for the next, said at Paris' Gare du Nord station. Additionally, around 30 percent of flights from Paris airports have been canceled, mostly on short-haul routes.
More than 140 protests have been planned across France in total, with the biggest set to take place at the Bastille monument in Paris in the afternoon, where unions expect 25,000 demonstrators.
The measures would also make it easier for foreign companies to close sites in France and give new flexibility to companies with fewer than 50 employees, which make up 95% of French business.
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Baptiste Colin, a 22-year-old engineering student who demonstrated in Paris, accused the government of wanting to "destroy public services" - a sentiment echoed by Marine Bruneau, a municipal worker. "Very, very hard", she said.
"Ryanair call on the French Government and European Commission to take immediate action to prevent the skies over Europe being closed yet again", read a statement from the airline.
While Thursday's strikes are likely to inconvenience many travelers, Macron was elected on a mandate of reforming the country's famously rigid labor laws.
France's civil aviation authority meanwhile said a third of flights into and out of the main Paris airports of Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Beauvais would be cancelled on Thursday because of industrial action by air traffic controllers.
France's centrist president, who has been in power for almost a year, has so far avoided large strikes and trade union action, managing to easily push through an overhaul of labour laws in the autumn despite limited street marches. "To improve them. We need more public servants", Philippe Martinez, secretary general of the CGT union, told FranceInfo radio.
"Obviously our attitude is that we are ready to listen, but we are also very determined to pursue these transformations", government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said Thursday.