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French refinery strikes renewed for sixth day

Strikes blocking fuel deliveries from French refineries continued for a sixth day on Monday, after the Senate voted over the weekend to adopt President Emmanuel Macron’s unpopular pension reform plan.

At the TotalEnergies’ Haulchin petrol depot in northern France a few hundred unionists joined a picket line and burned tyres, stopping a number of trucks from entering or leaving, a Reuters photographer said, before police came and cleared the blockade.

TotalEnergies’ refineries and depots remained blocked, with 41% of the operators on the morning shift joining the strike, a company spokesperson said.

ExxonMobil’s XOM.N subsidiary Esso’s Fos refinery in France was also blocked, a CGT union spokesperson said.

There was no strike at the Port Jerome site, but that could resume on Wednesday, the union spokesperson said.

The Senate voted on Saturday to adopt Macron’s pension reform plan, which among other measures raises the retirement age by two years to 64.

An additional day of nationwide strikes is planned for Wednesday, when a joint committee of lawmakers is expected to review the reform before a final vote likely to take place on Thursday.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Forrest Crellin and Pascal Rossignol, Editing by Louise Heavens, Kirsten Donovan)

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