French Dockworkers Threaten More Strikes.
French dockworker leaders set a mid-February deadline for the government to respond to their demands for more waterfront jobs or face further industrial action. The CGT union, which represents the majority of dockworkers, said it will launch an indefinite work-to-rule campaign at France's seven largest ports, including top box hubs Le Havre and Marseilles, on Feb. 12 if Transport Secretary Dominique Bussereau fails to give adequate assurances on job creation.
French dockworkers staged 24-hour nationwide strikes on Jan. 4 and Jan. 11 and have refused to work overtime or at night since early November to protest what the CGT said is the government's failure to honor a pledge to create up to 30,000 jobs as part of a reform of publicly owned ports.
The dispute centers on the transfer of around 2,000 container crane operators and maintenance workers from port authority payrolls to private stevedores.
The government promised to create as many as 30,000 jobs to win dockworkers' support for the reforms.
Dockworkers staged three months of rolling strikes in 2008 but called off their action after Parliament voted for the reforms.
The other ports facing industrial action are: Dunkirk, Rouen, Bordeaux, Nantes-Saint Nazaire and La Rochelle.