Belgian union blocks fuel depots in support of French action
A Belgian trade union blocked trucks from entering two fuel depots on Tuesday, including one run by French group Total, to back strikers protesting pension reform in France.
Manuel Morais, a SETCA union official, said around 50 more trucks than usual were ferrying fuel out of Total's Feluy depot in southern Belgium in order to feed petrol stations in France.
The union also blocked all trucks from entering a fuel depot run by Belgian company JP Martens in Tertre, near the French border.
"No more trucks are going in," Morais told AFP, accusing the companies of taking sides in the French protests. "There's no more supplying for Belgium or France."
The union said it would lift the blockade only when the companies guarantee that they would not use the depots to fill a void in France.
"We do not accept attempts to break the strike movement in France through foreign routes," Morais said.
France was hit by severe fuel shortages after strikers blocked fuel distribution centres and refineries as part of a mass movement across the country to defend the right to retire at 60.
The French national oil industry association said Monday that the blockades were over at all depots across across the country.
A Total spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
© 2010 AFP