A 24-hour strike called by France’s CGT union blocked terminals at the country’s main oil hub of Fos-Lavera near Marseille and disrupted grain trading on Wednesday, port officials said.
The strike held up nine vessels inside Fos-Lavera - one cargo ship, one ore tanker, four refined products tankers and three container ships - as well as another five refined products tankers outside the port, a port spokeswoman said.
This was the second one-day strike in a month at the Mediterranean port.
“The impact is less important than during the previous strike day on Feb. 6, because many ships managed to finish their operations before the strike started,” she told Reuters.
Wednesday’s protests called by the CGT union were centred on grievances over repercussions from a 2008 port reform and had not affected the LyondellBasell petrochemical plant at the Fos-Lavera hub, the port spokeswoman added.
At the ports of La Pallice, Montoir, Nantes and Saint-Nazaire, on the Atlantic Coast, and Fos-sur-Mer in the south, grain trading was halted, port sources said.
In the northern port of Rouen, the country’s main grain trading hub, protests affected road traffic around the port but had little impact on commercial activity. Out of 25 vessels in operation earlier in the morning, three could not load or unload, a port spokesman said.
At Le Havre on the English Channel, France’s largest container port and also an oil terminal, petrochemical and oil activity continued as normal, although strong winds prevented dock operations.