03 February 2011 12:07 [Source: ICIS news]
(adds port authority's response to plans for industrial action)
LONDON (ICIS)--Unions representing workers at the Fos-Lavera oil and chemicals terminal in southern France have called for further strike action in a dispute over pensions, shipping agents said on Thursday.
The Docker CGT Marseille union said workers at the two ports would be on 24-hour strikes on 4 February and 6 February, ending on the morning of 7 February, Inchcape Shipping Services reported on its website.
The port authority said everything is functioning normally today but it has been informed of the strikes and expects the port will close from 4-7 February.
The union has yet to comment on the industrial action.Workers have been striking randomly since 3 January, deciding at the beginning of each eight-hour shift whether or not to strike. The most recent disruption to port operations occurred from 27-30 January.
The union claims that the government has not respected an agreement on early retirement for port workers signed last October. It says the government is refusing to negotiate, and it has threatened to escalate the dispute nationally.
Strikes closed Fos-Lavera for 33 days in September and October last year, when workers were protesting against the government’s plans for privatising the ports and for pension reform.
Fos-Lavera is France’s largest oil and chemicals terminal, and its main entry point for imports of crude oil. Last year’s strike forced oil refineries and chemical plants in the region to shut down until supplies of crude oil and other raw materials through the port could resume.
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