French fuel supply "normal" depsite truckers' blockade: transport ministry

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-25 22:58:56|Editor: yan
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PARIS, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- The situation at French fuel stations is normal despite truck drivers' anti-labor reform action, the transport ministry said on Monday, rejecting speculation about a risk of fuel shortage.

"Almost all fuel depots are free to access. As a result, service stations are normally supplied," the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier on Monday, drivers from CGT and FO unions started their strike against the new labor code, causing blockades at some fuel depots before the blockades were forcibly removed, local media reported.

Trade unionist Christian Nuzzo from FO transport told news channel BFMTV, "Tomorrow we will be there again. As long as the government has not received us, we will still be there."

According to reports, the government deployed police early on Monday morning to prevent strikers from blockading some depots.

Speaking to RMC radio, government spokesperson Christophe Castaner said "the dialogue is permanent with the unions."

"We have to hear the truck drivers, there are real concerns, they express them... But, they have to agree to discuss, to exchange... If they wish, they will obviously be received again," Castaner added.

In spite of long talks this summer with unions, the new labor rules triggered street protests with the latest drawing 132,000 people across French cities on Thursday last week.

More of such movements are planned on Sept. 28 and Oct. 10. Critics say the reform favors companies by offering them more flexibility to recruit, fire, and impose working conditions.

For decades, governments from both the right and the left have tried to reform the country's rigid labor rules, but weeks of nationwide demonstrations have forced them to change their proposals.