FRANCE: FRENCH BUSINESS COUNT THE COST AS STRIKING TRUCKERS NEAR THE END OF THE 12-DAY DISPUTE
- Title: FRANCE: FRENCH BUSINESS COUNT THE COST AS STRIKING TRUCKERS NEAR THE END OF THE 12-DAY DISPUTE
- Date: 29th November 1996
- Summary: NICE, FRANCE (NOVEMBER 29 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV GREENHOUSES 0.09 2. SLV SOIL OUTSIDE GREENHOUSE 0.12 3. SLV INTERIOR OF GREENHOUSE FULL OF PLANTS 0.16 4. SLV GARDENER SPRAYING PLANTS IN GREENHOUSE 0.21 5. SMV GARDENERS TAKING CARE OF PLANTS 0.25 6. MV WOMAN WATERING FLOWERS 0.30 7. SMV MARKET GARDENER BRUNO BURY WALKING IN GREENHOUSE 0.36 8. MV BURY SAYING THAT THE PLANTS ARE READY TO BE SOLD - OUR CUSTOMERS ARE WAITING FOR THEM BUT WE CANNOT DELIVER THEM BECAUSE OF THE BLOCKADES. I UNDERSTAND THE TRUCKERS' PROBLEMS BUT IF THEY JEOPARDIZE INDUSTRIES THEY WILL JEOPARDIZE THEIR OWN JOBS (FRENCH) 1.01 9. LV FLOWERS LINED UP IN GREENHOUSE 1.04 10. MV BURY SAYING THAT WE WILL LOSE TEN MILLION FRANCS (1.93 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS) IN THE SPRING - I HAVE TO SAY THAT WE CANNOT SUPPORT SUCH A DISASTER (FRENCH) 1.19 11. LV INTERIOR GREENHOUSE 1.23 12. MV BURY SAYING WITH THE DRIVERS' ACTION WE HAVE A BAD SITUATION WITH HEATING FUEL - IF THE FUEL DOESN'T ARRIVE TODAY OR TOMORROW - ALL OUR POINSETTIAS WILL BE LOST (FRENCH) 1.45 13. LV BURY CHECKING PLANTS 1.50 14. LV EXTERIOR OF GREENHOUSES 1.52 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA9FGFKWRCI981ZFLNGUE4GTKHB
- Location: FREJUS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:01:53
- Story Text: INTRO: Striking French truckers edged closer to ending a 12-day blockade on Friday (November 29) as France's merchants began began to count the cost of the labour dispute.
In the pretty southern seaside town of Frejus on France's Cote D'Azur the nation's market gardeners bemoaned their plight. Some said they were close to bankruptcy as a direct result of fuel shortages caused by the blockades imposed by the French truckers over the past 12 days.
Bruno Bury, a market gardener who owns hundreds of greenhouses, is just one of those who is suffering because of action by the drivers' unions. On Friday, Bruno's staff continued to tend to the flowers despite his anxiety over the situation.
"The plants are ready for sale ...we have customers waiting for them but we cannot deliver them because of the blockades," he said.
"We will lose ten million francs (1.93 million U.S. dollars) in the spring and I have to say that we cannot afford such a disaster." Bury, who specialises in growing and selling poinsettias said that they would need heating fuel by Saturday (November 30) to save their batch of flowers. He said that he understood the position of the French truck drivers but if they jeopardised french businesses then they would put themselves out of jobs in the longterm.
Meanwhile, for Bruno Bury there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon on Friday as roadblocks appeared to be melting away. The progress came after truck drivers' unions ended talks with employers reporting substantial progress on pay and working hours.
By late afternoon on Friday there were 190 roadblocks left compared to 249 at the peak on Thursday, and officials reported drivers were starting to lift many of the remaining blockades at oil refineries, fuel depots and borders.
But for Bruno and numerous other businessman and employees across France the question was whether the easing of the blockades will resolve their situation - or whether it would just be too little too late.
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