France's industry ministry has assisted 119 struggling firms since the new Socialist government came to power in May, helping save some 15,000 jobs, a minister said Sunday. Still, the ministry was unable to prevent another 4,850 jobs from disappearing, Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on French television, pointing to an economy that remains "very damaged". His comments came two days before planned nationwide strikes and demonstrations. France's powerful CGT trade union has called for widespread stoppages "in defence of jobs and industry", the first action of its kind since Francois Hollande's Socialist party took power. Marches are planned for Tuesday in eight cities, including Paris, the CGT said. The latest mobilisation comes against a backdrop of rising unemployment and slashed social programmes. Work stoppages are expected across a range of sectors including transport, public health and public institutions. Workers from French car and auto-part groups are expected to meet outside the Paris Motor Show, which is currently taking place.