FRANCE: FRENCH TRUCK DRIVERS INTENSIFY THEIR ACTION TO HALT TRAFFIC ON STRATEGIC ROADS AROUND FRANCE
- Title: FRANCE: FRENCH TRUCK DRIVERS INTENSIFY THEIR ACTION TO HALT TRAFFIC ON STRATEGIC ROADS AROUND FRANCE
- Date: 25th November 1996
- Summary: CALAIS, FRANCE/ BETWEEN PARIS AND CHARLES DE GAULL, NORTH OF PARIS, FRANCE (NOVEMBER 25, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) CALAIS 1. SLV TRUCKS LINING ROAD 0.05 2. MV DRIVER ASLEEP IN CAB 0.07 3. TRACKING SCENE OF TRUCKS ALONG ROAD 0.15 4. MV TRUCKS PARKED 0.19 5. LV WIDE VIEW OF CALAIS PORT 0.24 6. LV FERRIES COMING INTO PORT 0.38 7. MV BRITISH TRUCK DRIVER IN CAB 0.42 8. SCU BRITISH DRIVER SAYING, "I DO HAVE RESPECT FOR THEM, WHEN THEY WANT TO GET SOMETHING SORTED THEY DO GET IT SORTED. BUT IT'S VERY FRUSTRATING AS YOU CAN UNDERSTAND" (ENGLISH) 0.54 9. SLV FRENCH LORRY DRIVERS GATHERED AROUND PICKET, FIRE BURNING 0.59 10. LV LORRIES PARKED/ FRENCH DRIVERS AROUND BLOCKADE ACROSS ROAD 1.03 11. SLV FRENCH DRIVERS AT PICKET 1.12 12. SCU FRENCH OUVRIERE UNION DELEGATE PATRICK CHAUFFY SAYING, "AFTER ONE WEEK OF STRIKES WE'VE ESTIMATED THAT THE ONLY WAY THE GOVERNMENT WOULD LISTEN TO US WAS IF WE BLOCKED THE ROADS. I KNOW SOME TRUCK DRIVERS ARE HELD HOSTAGE BUT WE'VE LIMITED THE PROBLEMS AND WE'VE LET THE CARS AND THE BUSES DRIVE FREELY" (FRENCH)1.36 13. SLV PARKED LORRIES 1.43 14. MV LORRY WITH CHRISTMAS TREES PARKED 1.47 15. SCU SPANISH DRIVER DOMINGO ORTIZ SAYING, "FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW THEY ARE NOT DOING THE RIGHT THING. I MEAN THEY HAVE TO DO WHAT THEY HAVE TO DO BUT FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW THEY ARE MAKING THINGS DIFFICULT" (SPANISH) 1.55 BETWEEN PARIS AND CHARLES DE GAULLE 16. SLV TRUCKS PARKED ALONG ROAD, TRUCK DRIVER AND POLICE BY ROADSIDE 2.00 17. SLV POLICE AND TRUCK DRIVERS/ HELICOPTER OVERHEAD 2.09 18. SLV TRUCKS ON ROAD 2.14 19. SLV CARS DRIVING PAST LINES OF LORRY 2.17 20. SCU BELGIAN MOTORIST SAYING, "I THINK THE STRIKE IS NECESSARY, IT IS ABOUT PENSIONS AND MORE PAY. I THINK THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT, THAT IT IS NOT IN VAIN. I HOPE NOT ANYWAY BECAUSE IT CAUSES A LOT OF TROUBLE FOR THE REST OF THE PEOPLE. I SYMPATHISE WITH THEM" (ENGLISH) 2.37 21. SLV SIGNPOST TO PARIS 2.38 22. LV VARIOUS OF TRUCKS PARKED ON MOTORWAY 2.47 KEYWORDS: STRIKES TRADE UNIONS EMPLOYMENT VEHICLES INTERVIEWS HARBOURS ROADS Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA47BIHQA07BCKNQBQISSWBDXLH
- Location: BETWEEN PARIS AND CHARLES DE GAULLE, NORTH OF PARIS AND CALAIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:02:47
- Story Text: INTRO: - French truck-drivers have intensified their action to halt traffic on strategic roads around France in pursuit of pay rises.
Truckers reinforced their campaign of disruption on Monday (November 25) with barricades at five frontier posts with Germany and blockades at the car ferry ports of Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer.
Cars and buses were allowed to embark on the ferries. The action added to the woes of cross-Channel travellers to Britain, already hit by the closure of the Channel Tunnel to all but freight trains after a fire last week.
The drivers are demanding shorter working hours, wage rises and retirement at 55 instead of 60.
Foreign drivers trapped in the blockades have expressed mixed opinions on the French truckers actions.
One British driver said he respected the drivers for their actions.
"When they want to get something sorted, they do get it sorted", he said. "But it's very frustrating as you can understand".
Overnight talks between the truck drivers, the truckers' employers and the government mediator Robert Cros failed after almost 14 hours at the French Transport Ministry in Paris.
Ouvriere Union delegate, Patrick Chauffy explained that after one week of strikes the drivers decided only a blockade would force the government to listen to their demands.
"I know some truck drivers are held hostage but we've limited the problems and are letting cars and buses drive freely", he added.
Both sides agreed to meet for more talks, hosted by government mediator Robert Cros, at 5 p.m. (1600 GMT) on Monday in a bid to resolve the dispute.
One Spanish lorry driver complained at being targeted by the truckers tactics.
"From our point of view they are not doing the right thing. I mean they have to do what they have to do, but from our point of view they are making things difficult", he said.
The state road information centre said there were 98 truckers' barricades on major routes in France on Monday morning, against 62 on Sunday night. The figures do not count disruption to smaller routes. The truckers also blocked fuel depots and roads around the nation in the toughest wave of unrest in France since a 24-day round of public sector strikes against the centre-right government almost paralysed the country in late 1995.
There was heavy disruption north of Paris on the motorway to Charles de Gaulle.
A Belgian motorist said that he sympathised with the demands of the truck-drivers, and hoped they let him through so he could continue to Disneyland.
An IPSOS opinion poll for France-2 television showed 74 percent of French people sympathised with the strikers. It also revealed that 87 percent found their demands "rather justified".
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