New port strike in Marseille


French taxis drivers block a highway during a protest in Marseille. Several demonstrations by truck and taxi drivers, protesting rapidly-rising fuel prices, took place throughout France. (REUTERS)

Workers at France's biggest port of Marseille staged a 48-hour walkout on Thursday, the latest of a string of strikes and protests over port privatisation plans.

"We are keeping up the pressure to get things moving," said Pascal Galeote, CGT union leader for the Mediterranean port. Workers were to meet Thursday afternoon to decide how long to continue their action.

Since April, France's main ports have been disrupted by a series of strikes over government plans to privatise some heavy machinery operations, in line with dockers whose jobs went private in the 1990s.

In Paris, meanwhile, the CGT port union federation called for a national two-day strike Tuesday and Wednesday, when the privatisation bill - approved by the upper house Senate last month - is to go before the National Assembly.