French dockworkers will walk off the job for 24 hours Oct. 28 as part of a nationwide protest against pension reform that appears to be losing momentum.
Ocean carriers are responding to the third 24-hour dockworkers’ strike this month by cancelling calls at French ports and advising shippers to re-route their French consignments through other ports in northwest Europe and the Mediterranean.
A second port strike planned for Nov. 6 is in doubt, however, after the National Assembly voted Wednesday to raise the pension age to 62 from 60, paving the way for President Sarkozy to sign the controversial measure into a law within a couple of weeks.
French transport faces disruption Thursday with air traffic controllers and some rail workers due to go on strike, but the impact is expected to be less severe than during the previous 24-hour stoppages.
The civil aviation authority requested airlines to cut 50 percent of scheduled flights to Paris Orly and 30 percent of services to other airports.
This will mainly impact domestic and short haul European flights with international services, including cargo, largely unaffected.
By The Numbers: U.S. Trade with France.
Gas and diesel shortages are easing after police removed blockades at oil depots and the government increased fuel imports, but one in five gas stations is still out of service.
Workers at five of France’s 12 oil refineries have returned to work but output is restricted because a month long strike at the Fos-Lavera oil terminal in Marseille has cut off supplies of crude oil.
The government is now expected to focus its attention on the strike by dockworkers at Marseille over plans to partially privatize stevedoring at the port’s oil terminals.
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