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French Port Workers Ramp Up Strikes Over Pension Reforms and Working Conditions

As of today, 7 June, French port workers have intensified their industrial action in protest at proposed pension reforms and working conditions. The move comes after negotiations with the Ministry of Transport broke down.

From Stoppages and Full Strike Days

Previously, workers engaged in four “dead port days” between November 2023 and February 2024, alongside regular four-hour stoppages on three different days each week. The “dead port days” were initially suspended for negotiations.

Negotiations Fail, Strike Action Escalates

Following the unsuccessful negotiations, the national port and dockers workers’ union, CGT, called for a return to “dead port days” across all French ports, starting June 7th, 2024. Today, port workers in major ports like Le Havre and Marseille-Fos blocked road access and cargo operations came to halt as stevedores stopped work. Similar disruptions are reported throughout France, including ports in Bordeaux, Rouen, and Nantes/Saint Nazaire.

Further Strikes Planned

The union has announced additional “dead port days” on June 13th, 21st, and 25th, 2024. The four-hour stoppages are also expected to continue.

Stakeholders Fear Disruptions Will Worsen

Port stakeholders are concerned that the aptly-named dead port days could ultimately kill the French port industry, as well as local trade.

Information provided by Budd Marseille-Fos office (covering the Mediterranean Coast) and Budd Le Havre (covering the Channel & Atlantic Coast)

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