Workers strike at Avignon Festival in France

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PARIS — The show did not go on at the Avignon Festival Friday, as theater workers voted for a one-day strike that hits the prestigious arts festival’s opening night in a dispute over unemployment benefits.

The industrial action is another headache for France, which has to curb benefits spending to reach EU-imposed deficit reduction targets.

Temporary arts workers have been protesting in recent months over what they say is an unfair new contract that curtails unemployment benefits.

Their threats to disrupt major summer festivals that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, from Avignon to the annual opera spree in Aix-en-Provence, have prompted the government to launch talks to agree on a mutually acceptable new unemployment insurance scheme.

First Published July 4, 2014 12:00 AM

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