France - Port strikes to continue - January 27, 2011

On 28 January, for the third successive weekend dockers and other port workers led by the CGT-affiliated union Syndicat General des Ouvriers Dockers du Havre have staged a four-days nationwide strike in the conflict over working conditions and pensions. The union spokesman said that there has been no progress in the negotiations. He added that the strike would not affect oil traffic and passenger ships, but would halt mainly container traffic and bulk shipments. In May 2010, the union reached a basic agreement with port employers for 6,000 dockers with arduous jobs to retire four to five years before the national pension age. Yet the government, which would have to partially finance early retirement, insists the agreement must comply with the new national pension rules introduced in November 2010. On 21 January, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and ETF, its European arm, called on European dockers’ unions to stand by their French colleagues (See also this Collective Bargaining Newsletter Year 3 October 2010).

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This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Maarten van Klaveren, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) You may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2011.

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