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Oil workers expand strikes at French refineries

The head of an oil workers unions says strikes have spread to all of France's refineries, though disturbances in schools and the transport system have eased slightly on the fourth day of nationwide protests over the government's retirement reforms.

world Updated: Oct 15, 2010 14:05 IST

The head of an oil workers unions says strikes have spread to all of France's refineries, though disturbances in schools and the transport system have eased slightly on the fourth day of nationwide protests over the government's retirement reforms.

Charles Foulard, a union coordinator at oil giant Total SA, said workers at all 12 of France's refineries are are on strike after two plants owned by Exxon Mobil and Petroplus voted to join the strike on Friday.

France's transport minister authorized oil companies to use some of their reserves after trucking companies complained of difficulties fueling their vehicles. Dominique Bussereau told French radio station RTL that the country's stocks of fuel meant there was no reason for drivers to fear a gas shortage.