Protracted French radio strike nears end but shows challenges of reforming economy

Unions and the government are nearing agreement on the future of France's national radio company after a 28-day strike that exemplifies the challenges of loosening up labor rules.

Broadcasts resumed Tuesday morning and staff at state-run Radio France met to discuss next steps. On Monday, four of five unions voted to return to work after progress on a compromise reform plan.

Unions at Radio France, which includes several news radio stations and two orchestras, are fighting cost cuts and layoffs.

The cuts come amid broader government efforts to encourage hiring and reduce state spending. The Radio France battle has shown how hard it is to reduce worker benefits and protections seen by many in France as major accomplishments of the 20th century.