Strike is suspended at Marseille

Normal bunkering operations expected to resume as port workers end strike.

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Updated on 21 Apr 2008 06:47 GMT

Port workers at the port of Marseille voted Sunday to suspend industrial action against dock reforms, according to an official at the CGT union.

Pascal Galeote, Secretary General of the Marseille port workers section of the CGT union said that he expected normal activities to resume on Monday morning, but added that a new stoppage had been planned for Wednesday.

Strike action at the port of Marseille began on Thursday as workers protested against plans by the government to privatise loading actitivies at state-run ports. The key oil hub of Fos Lavera was paralysed by the stoppage and bunkering operations were hindered as bunker delivery barges were not allowed to berth at the terminal and fuel oil cargoes could not be loaded as a result.

The strike was originally scheduled to end on April 20, but industrial action continued on Sunday as around 20 ships were blocked at the quayside or elsewhere in the harbour. Local sources had expected the strike to continue until April 23 before the vote to suspend the stoppage took place on Sunday.

The Fos-Lavera oil and gas terminal is the world's third biggest port for oil products with 64.2 million tonnes transiting per year. It supplies crude to eight refineries in southeast France with a total capacity of approximately 800,000 barrels per day.