Emmanuel Macron, who leads the runoff for French president, met with union leaders today in a Whirlpool factory that is scheduled to close and move to Poland, all in an attempt to strike at his rival's political heartland in northern France. But his plans went awry and turned into a chaotic, hour-long back-and-forth with jeering workers when far-right leader Marine Le Pen got there first and promised to keep the plant open — giving hope to the 300 employees whose jobs are under threat.

Strategically speaking: Le Pen is a far more skilled campaigner than the more robotic Macron and she's showing why she remains a formidable threat to Macron in the May 7 election. While virtually all of France's establishment has now endorsed Macron, that is a similar scenario to what preceded Brexit and Donald Trump's respective triumphs. The next political polls will be important.

Why it's important: After Brexit and Trump, the French election is the third major opportunity for western voters to decide whether to maintain the post-war political and economic framework, or to bust it up. Macron favors the former, and Le Pen the latter.

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What to watch in tonight's debate

Joe Biden (left) and President Trump (right) are facing off in Cleveland for the first presidential debate. Photos: Alex Wong (of Biden) and David Hume Kennerly (of Trump)/Getty Images

President Trump will try to break Joe Biden's composure by going after his son Hunter and other family members in tonight's first presidential debate — a campaign source tells Axios "nothing will be off the table" — while Biden plans to stick to the economy, coronavirus and new revelations about how Trump avoided paying taxes.

Driving the news: Biden and Trump are set to debate at 9 p.m. ET at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and it will be moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace.

Massive layoffs hit Disney theme parks

A person posing for a photo in front of the iconic Disney castle at Disneyland Resort in Hong Kong on Sept, 25. Photo: Miguel Candela Poblacion/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Disney is laying off 28,000 workers at its theme parks and experiences and consumer products divisions, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has forced the company to close its California theme parks and limit attendance at re-opened parks elsewhere around the U.S. Around 67% of the 28,000 laid off workers are part-time employees, according to Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney's parks, experiences and products division.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
26 mins ago - Economy & Business

United States of burnout

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Postponed vacations, holidays in isolation and back-to-back virtual meetings are taking a toll on millions of American workers.

Why it matters: As we head into the fall, workers are feeling the burnout. Such a collective fraying of mental health at work could dampen productivity and hinder economic growth across the country.