French port strikes leaves 35-40 tankers queuing at Fos

01 October 2010 12:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A series of 24-hour strikes at French ports since Monday has interrupted deliveries of crude oil, oil products and chemicals to the ports of Fos and Le Havre, a shipping agent said on Friday.

The strike was expected to continue at least until Monday morning.

Workers in many industries have gone on strike in the past few weeks to protest against the French government’s proposed pension reforms.

Franck Lambert, of the Humann & Taconet shipping agency in Fos, said port workers there were also striking against the proposed privatisation of the Fos/Lavera oil terminal.

A 24-hour strike at the Fos/Lavera oil terminal started at 06:00 on Monday and was repeatedly extended for 24-hour periods.

The latest strike began on Friday and would continue until 06:00 on Monday next week, Lambert said. He repeated suggestions that the strikers were taking a hard line against the proposed privatisation and said there was a possibility the industrial action could be extended further.

He said that all traffic in and out of the oil terminal had been halted, and that 35-40 tankers were waiting to load or discharge cargoes.

Workers at grain terminals in Fos/Lavera had been striking for two hours in every shift this week, he said. Lambert said that some port workers remained on the job in Le Havre, but that the lock was not operating.

 ($1= €0.73)

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By: James Mills
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