French labour reform protests block refineries

Sharing is Caring

Several hundred activists from France’s CGT labour union blocked an oil refinery at Fos-sur-Mer Monday, the latest in a months-long campaign of protests against government labour reforms.

French labour reform protests block refineries

Petrol runs short as French labour reform protests block refineries Paris (France) – 23 May 2016 11:06 – AFP – LEAD Petrol shortages caused long tailbacks of motorists in parts of France Monday, as protesters against government labour reforms blockaded some oil refineries.The action was part of a months-long campaign of strikes and protests against the draft law that has set the socialist government against some of its traditional supporters and sometimes degenerated into violence.The northwest of the country was worst hit over the weekend. As deliveries dried up, drivers were forced to seek out petrol stations that had not run out of fuel.Local authorities in some regions imposed rationing to eke out the supplies and police moved in to lift the blockade on some of the refineries blockaded over the weekend.Only five out of a hundred or so major fuel depots were blocked, senior environment ministry official Laurent Michel told AFP.But with some petrol stations still waiting for fuel Monday, tailbacks built up at those stations still open, disrupting traffic on the surrounding roads.In the Breton cities of Nantes, Rennes and Brest in the northwest, motorists were waiting up to an hour to get to the petrol pumps.The oil industry body UFIP said between 15 and 20 percent of stations in the northwest had either run out fuel entirely or were suffering shortages.But France’s socialist government has made it clear it will stand by the controversial labour reforms.Speaking from Israel on Sunday to French television station BFMTV, Prime Minister Manuel Valls condemned the blockade of the fuel depots and said the authorities would keep working to lift them.”The labour law will go to the end of its parliamentary passage,” he promised.”I’m asking everyone to face up to reality, not to put the country’s economy in difficulty and to respect the users,” he added.The government says the changes contained in the draft law will make France’s notoriously rigid labour market more flexible and create jobs.But opponents say the reforms will erode job security and do little to bring down the unemployment rate, stuck at 10 percent and nearly 25 percent for young people.The proposed law has led to months of strikes, protest marches and demonstrations, some of which have descended into violence.Over the past two months, some 350 members of the security forces have been injured during protests against the draft law, which was forced through the lower house of parliament earlier this month without a vote.Much of the unrest has been blamed on small groups of troublemakers who appear bent on targeting the security

Tags : refineries, block, protests, Reform, labour, french

Related Videos :

You may also like...

Leave a Reply