Sponsored by: Investment Center

Something new in your business?  Click here to submit your business press release

Chamber Corner | Main Street News | Job Hunt | Classifieds | Calendar | Illinois Lottery 


Oil workers defy French gov't demand to open depots

Send a link to a friend

[October 18, 2010]  PARIS (AP) -- French oil workers on Monday defied the government's demand to get back to work and end scattered fuel shortages, stepping up their fight against President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to raise the retirement age to 62.

Striking workers piled up tires and set them ablaze in front of a refinery at Grandpuits, east of Paris, after authorities issued a legal order insisting that some strikers reopen the facility. Workers said Monday they would refuse, as curls of heavy black smoke wafted into the air.

HardwareOther employees and residents formed a "human chain" to prevent the refinery workers from entering the plant, and union leaders said they expected an imminent police intervention.

Strikers have blockaded a dozen French refineries and numerous oil depots in the last week as part of widespread protests against the government's plan to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon pledged Sunday to do what's necessary to prevent fuel shortages, saying the government won't allow such shortages to hurt the French economy. Fearful motorists have flocked to gas stations in panic and found many empty, while aviation authorities told short-haul planes coming in from other European destinations to bring enough fuel to get back.


The head of France's petroleum industry body said fuel reserves were "enough to keep us going for a few weeks."

Jean-Louis Schilansky, president of the Petrol Industries Association, warned however that if the strikers continue to block fuel depots and if the nation's truckers join the movement, "then we will have a very big problem."

[to top of second column]

Truckers did join the fray on Monday, staging organized slowdowns aimed at snarling highway traffic. French TV showed images of cars and trucks on a "Snail Operation," driving at a snail's pace along the main highway between Paris and the northern city of Lille, with red union flags waving out the windows.

Meanwhile, French youth who have rallied to the cause burned tires and set up blockades Monday outside some high schools in Paris and nearby suburbs.

Students from Lycee Joliot Curie in the Paris suburb of Nanterre tried to blockade their school, with about 100 of them facing off against police.

[Associated Press; By GREG KELLER]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Recent articles

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor