French dockworkers Feb. 10 suspended a six-week-long campaign of strikes after port employers agreed to resume negotiations on union demands for early retirement.
The CGT, the largest dockworker union, said it will hold three days of talks with employers starting Tuesday, Feb. 15.
The union warned it would consider resuming strikes on Feb. 18 if the negotiations do not make progress.
The CGT began the latest industrial action with a nationwide strike on Jan. 12 followed by four successive four-day stoppages over the past month that have cut cargo throughput by an estimated 40 percent.
The Communist-led CGT, which is the major union in all major ports except Dunkirk, is demanding four years early retirement for up to 6,000 dockworkers with arduous jobs.
The government, which is the sole shareholder in the nation's seven largest ports, including Marseille and Le Havre, insists dockworkers can only retire two years before the national pension age which was recently raised to 62 from 60.
The port employers are willing to compromise with the union to ensure a return to normal working, but the government is refusing to cede ground.
The CGT Thursday called on the government to allow the union, port authorities and private port employers to reach an agreement on early retirement.
Dockworkers staged a series of strikes in September and October over working conditions for container crane operators being transferred from port authorities' payrolls to private stevedores as part of the government 's port reforms.
-- Contact Bruce Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.