In the greater Paris region Ile-de-France, 70 percent of drivers are on strike, with strikes in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France and Charentes-Maritime department in the south west of the country also ongoing.
The French workers' union (CGT) called for “unlimited industrial action” for better working conditions for drivers delivering dangerous chemicals, including fuel and gas. Gas stations will remain self sufficient for just three days.
And with many taking advantage of a long weekend, starting with Thursday's Ascension bank holiday, there are likely to be some disgruntled drivers if the strike is prolonged.
“Drivers transporting 38,000 litres of fuel or 24 tons of acid, are paid 9.73 euros an hour,” a document from the CGT said. These drivers are required to take exams in order to obtain the necessary certificates to carry out the work, and must retake these exams every five years.
“Only the Grigny depot (in the suburbs of Paris) is functioning as normal”, federal secretary of the CGT transport division, Fabrice Michaud said.
The union also said that members were stationed at entrances to different fuel depots in the greater Paris region in order to “convince” drivers to stop working.
The strike echoes a similar move in May last year when one in five gas stations suffered from either a complete or partial fuel shortage as the result of a CGT strike.