French docks blockaded in strike action

Workers at France's seven biggest ports went on strike today to protest a government plan to sell dock-equipment management to private companies and take staff off public payrolls.

Submitted by Ed on April 23, 2008

Sixty-seven vessels including thirty-nine tankers stranded at the harbor's entrance. Government officials, port managers and union representatives are yet to tally the costs of the strike. A 17-day walkout last year in Marseille alone cost Manutention Generale Mediterraneenne, the port's biggest cargo- handler, €1.5 million ($2.4 million).

The ports plan is set to threaten jobs and unions say there will be "serious economic consequences" if the government doesn't back down on its port reforms for which they say there is "no real economic and financial necessity".

Port workers pledged to intensify disruptions after today's one-day walkout. The CGT called for strikes three nights a week and an end to overtime work. Ports will be blocked during the nights of April 24 and 25, it said. Le Havre will be closed for 24 hours starting mid-day on May 26.

"We will increase our protests until we see positive changes in the government's plan" said Brice Triboulet, a union representative for CGT in Le Havre.

In 1992, Confederation Generale du Travail, the largest labor union at French ports, shut down operations for 170 days to protest against a law that moved dockworkers to non-state companies.

Comments

comuna2

15 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by comuna2 on April 27, 2008

I read something that there´ll be a similar action on may1 in US

juanramon.ballista

15 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by juanramon.ballista on April 27, 2008

I think we need to generalize proletarian action on the international level against capital and its State.

David in Atlanta

15 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by David in Atlanta on April 29, 2008

comuna2, you probably are thinking of the longshore workers anti-war protest
combined with the South African dockers successful action against Chinese arms shipments there does appear to be a growing willingness on the part of at least a segment of the working class to use organized union power against militarism if not the State as such