French port workers to walk out over reforms

21st April 2008, Comments 0 comments

The day-long strike on Wednesday is against government plans to outsource heavy machinery operations.

21 April 2008

MARSEILLE - French longshoremen are to stage a day-long strike on Wednesday against government plans to outsource some heavy machinery operations as part of an overhaul of the nation's harbours.

The walkout strike - called by the dockers' branch of the CGT labour federation - coincides with a meeting of cabinet ministers to examine the proposed reforms, the union's general secretary Daniel Lefebvre told AFP.

"Most of the autonomous ports will not be functional the day the council of ministers meets," he said. "It's a call for a national 24-hour strike."

Longshoremen have already walked off the job at France's biggest cargo terminals in Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes and Rouen.

A full strike started Thursday among crane-drivers and signals operators, with the already-privatised dockers and other handling staff also staging timed walk-outs in support.

All cargo - including fuel deliveries - had been blocked in Marseille, France's biggest Mediterranean port, although passenger ferries were allowed to move in and out freely.

[AFP / Expatica]

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