May 26, 2016 / 10:46 AM / a year ago

Oil tankers backed up at southern French port due to strike

PARIS, May 26 (Reuters) - Nearly two dozen vessels were queued outside the French oil import terminal in Fos, southern France on Thursday, held up by a strike organised by the hardline CGT and FO unions over planned labour reforms.

A spokeswoman for the port of Marseille told Reuters that yesterday 29 oil, LNG and chemicals vessels were waiting between the wharf and harbour on Wednesday.

This morning, 21 vessels including 12 carrying oil, LNG or chemicals, were waiting. During normal busy operations, about 5 vessels would be waiting, the port authority said.

CGT port workers and dockers joined the nationwide rolling strike on Thursday and Friday. The stoppages hitting the power, fuel and transport sectors is aimed at forcing the government to withdraw the planned labour reform bill.

CGT oil refinery and oil depot workers at Fos-Lavera have been on strike since Monday and have blocked oil terminals, preventing some fuel deliveries and leading to shortages.

The terminals supply PetroIneos Lavera, Total's La Mede and Exxon's Fos refineries on the southern coast. (Reporting by Valerie Parent and Bate Felix; Editing by Andrew Callus)

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