Truckers lift roadblock near Paris

French truck drivers on Friday lifted an overnight roadblock of heavy vehicle traffic on the A10 highway that connects Paris with the south-western city of Bordeaux. The truckers staged the action to demand higher minimum pay.

Truckers lift roadblock near Paris
The action caused several kilometre-long lines on both sides of the roadblock. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

Some 350 truck drivers gathered at the Saint-Arnoult road toll, west of Paris, on Thursday night, blocking more than 1,000 lorries headed either to or from the capital. The six-hour-long labour action, which was staged by the CDFT transport workers union, had raised fears of possible Christmas delivery delays before the roadblock ended at around 1:30 on Friday morning.

“It was very successful, there were many who took part,” Eva Fleri, a union spokeswoman, told The Local of the action, adding that at one point, the blockage caused an eight-kilometre-long line of trucks and other heavy duty vehicles to be jammed on the one side of the toll and a seven-kilometre-long line on the other.  

Some of the drivers that got stuck in the queues got angry, she said.

“Two or three of them,” she said.

French media had reported that the roadblock would last also through Friday, but the union denied these claims and rejected alleged plans that the drivers would also block some warehouses.

The drivers staged the roadblock to protest the profession’s minimum pay, demanding that it be raised from €9.53 per hour to €10 per hour.

The union is due to meet employer representatives for negotiations in late January, but Fleri said that unless the talks advance, the union could call for more roadblock actions.

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