Striking sailors block channel traffic at Calais

22nd March 2005, Comments 0 comments

CALAIS, France, March 22 (AFP) - Rail and ferry services across the English channel were blocked at the French port of Calais Tuesday, as merchant sailors protested for a second day against government plans to reform registry rules for shipping.

CALAIS, France, March 22 (AFP) - Rail and ferry services across the English channel were blocked at the French port of Calais Tuesday, as merchant sailors protested for a second day against government plans to reform registry rules for shipping.

Riot-police intervened with tear-gas at around 1.00 p.m. (1200 GMT) to clear the entrance to the Eurotunnel rail terminal, but the ferry port remained out of action mid-afternoon.

One protester was injured in scuffles with police and another was detained for throwing stones.

"We have decided to block the freight and passenger jetties at the port, as well as access for goods vehicles and cars to the channel tunnel," said Luc Zimmerman of the CFDT union.

On Monday trains through the tunnel were stopped for several hours. Elsewhere there were delays to ferries at other channel ports.

Seamen's unions called for a 24 hour strike Tuesday against a reform of maritime law going through parliament. The change would make it easier for ships to register under a French flag, but unions say it will in fact put French jobs in jeopardy.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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