Strikes Costing France $557M a Day

But pension protests beginning to wane
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2010 2:36 AM CDT
Tanker trucks line up as striking workers block the main entrance of an oil depot at Fos sur Mer, near Marseille, southern France, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
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(Newser) – French workers fighting a plan to raise the retirement age to 62 are costing the country's economy over $500 million a day, the nation's finance minister warned yesterday. Oil refineries have been blocked for nearly two weeks and uncollected garbage has been piling up in several cities—but the protest movement is showing signs of weakening, the Guardian reports.

Workers at three of France's 12 oil refineries have voted to end their walkout, and trash collectors in Marseilles—where 9,000 tons of rotting garbage has piled up—are ending their two-week strike because of hygiene concerns. France's Senate approved the controversial pension reform plan last week, and it's expected to become law within days after a final round of voting.

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