September 7, 2017 / 1:30 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-French CGT power and oil workers to join labour reform strike

(Adds wrap with power sector, Total comment, background)

PARIS, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Oil and power sector workers from France’s CGT trade union will join a 24-hour nationwide strike next week to protest against the government’s planned labour reforms but limited support from other unions could blunt its impact.

CGT oil sector workers will join the protest and block all inbound and outbound deliveries of petroleum products to refineries and depots, a union official said.

French oil and gas major Total, Europe’s biggest refiner which operates five refineries in France, said it had taken measures to protect consumers.

A CGT union official at Total said the strike on Tuesday was unlikely to lead to a production halt. He added the oil sector was however ready for an unlimited strike if other industries took that course in the following days.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s government announced reforms on August 31 to loosen labour regulations and drive down unemployment, which drew criticism from unions.

However, France’s biggest trade union the CFDT, and the smaller hardline FO union, which usually ally with CGT, have decided not to call their members out next week.

CGT workers in the power sector will also join the strike, which could potentially lead to a drop in output at nuclear and hydro electricity generation sites.

The CGT, which has its roots in the French Communist movement, has also decided not to join the far-left party of Jean-Luc Melenchon in protests planned for Sept. 23 in a sign that opposition to Macron’s plan is divided.

CGT oil sector workers kicked off rolling strikes last year over contested labour reforms by the previous government. The strikes led to fuel shortages after refineries shut down for over two weeks, disrupting fuel distribution. (Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Gus Trompiz/Keith Weir)

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