Strike action widens in France

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Car Rental News - 18/10/2010


Transport to be hit as truckers and rail unions go on strike.

Truck drivers in France announced the latest an ongoing public demonstrations against pensions reforms planned by the French government. French truck drivers said they would block key road routes from Sunday night. Meanwhile, French rail unions said they would strike from today.

The action by truckers and railway workers comes as strikes by refinery workers continue. There are further threats of further street marches in protest at pension reforms set to go before the French Senate in a vote seen as crucial for the Sarkozy presidency.

Through months of protests, the French president has said he will not capitulate to opposition to plans to raise the age of retirement. French unions, which hold great power in France, are also vowing not to give up.

Petrol supplies at forecourts are running out as truck drivers vow to continue blocking major routes. France’s railways have already seen a day of disruption caused by industrial action and the unions vow to continue action that could lead to two-thirds of regular services being cancelled. Up to half of the fast TGV train services could also be halted.

There are plans to hold another round of street demonstrations tomorrow. Panic buying has emptied petrol supplies across the country. Industry sources say fuel supplies could be seriously disrupted by Wednesday. A supply line to Paris Charles de Gaulles international airport had been disrupted. The government said this has been restored and there should be no further problems supplying fuel for aircraft there.

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