French truck drivers became the latest group to join protests against pension reform. They staged protest overnight through “go-slows” on highways, with more planned throughout the rest of the day. Workers at oil refineries are on strike for the seventh day. Gas station associations say that more than 1,500 stations have run out of fuel, despite government pronouncements that they had enough fuel in reserve to stop any shortages. Students have also joined in the protests, with 261 schools affected. Public transport in some cities was blocked, with rail traffic delayed and flights canceled. Government officials say that they are in control and that there will be no blockades, despite reports of blockades. Unions have called for new strikes on Tuesday. The Senate will vote on the act on Wednesday.
See “Truck drivers join French pension protests”, at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11563423, BBC News Online, Oct 18, 2010. (SD)