PARIS (AA) – Protesters have disrupted supply lines from oil distribution depots in Normandy over proposed new labor reforms, causing fuel shortages in western France, local media reported Saturday.
Petrol stations in the country’s western regions were heavily affected after protesters blocked main roads through which oil products get shipped Friday.
Some regional governors began limiting petrol sales by banning its sale through fuel cans at stations to prohibit stocking, French media outlet BFM TV reported.
The news channel said one-fifth of the stations in the country’s western regions made no fuel sales due to the shortage.
It is also estimated that the fuel shortage would swell further after workers of TOTAL’s Normandy refinery reportedly shut down production for 72 hours.
A wave of strikes in the country, which started last year over controversial proposed labor reforms, is continuing with huge protests this week.
Government critics have lambasted the labor bill, prepared by France’s Labor Minister Myriam El Khomri to bring down unemployment. Trade unions consider the law, which would extend working hours and restrict overtime, as taking away vested rights.
According to French Interior Ministry, over 2,000 people have been detained since March during protests of the law.
Some demonstrators were injured in April due to heavy police intervention with tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse protesters.
On April 29, 500,000 people took to the streets, according to unions, versus 170,000 according to police estimates.
Also, police say 55,000 people protested the law on May 12, while unions say the number of protesters was 80,000.