Limited Initial Impact From French Industrial Action

Transport workers Tuesday began industrial action across France that is expected to continue for several days, although the initial impact seems to have been limited. Trade unions have called on lorry drivers, railway workers, port and airport staff, seafarers, air traffic controllers, and oil refinery personnel to protest against new labour legislation and working conditions. Lorry drivers appear to be at the forefront of action in several regions of France, reportedly setting up roadblocks and filtering traffic near France’s two main container ports, Le Havre, and Marseille Fos, and also at Nantes-St Nazaire. However, it is unclear to what extent truck access is being affected at these ports.

Earlier Tuesday, P&O Ferries warned customers “there may be some challenges approaching the port (of Calais) due to possible road blockages”, but at the time of writing, the ferry company was reporting that “traffic is free flowing… All sailings are now on time.” Railway workers at SNCF are due to begin a 48-hour stoppage Wednesday, which is likely to impact the state-owned operator’s freight traffic and that of private operators.