UPDATE 1-Container shipping firm MSC re-routes cargoes due to French strikes

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PARIS, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Container shipping company MSC said on Friday it was implementing contingency plans to re-route container ships away from French ports when necessary due to strikes in the country.

Two weeks of nationwide industrial action in France have disrupted railways and roads, shut some schools and brought more than half a million people onto the streets to protest against President Emmanuel Macron’s wide-ranging reform plan to overhaul the pension system.

“MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company is closely monitoring the situation in France where industrial action by labour unions is impacting maritime ports and overland transportation networks around the country,” said a spokesman for the Swiss headquartered company.

“MSC is carefully implementing contingency plans wherever we need to re-route cargo to nearby European container ports.”

MSC said it would resume normal services to France as soon as possible.

At ports, stoppages this week by tug-boat personnel and dock workers have hampered activity at major shipping hubs like Le Havre and Marseille.

France’s port network acts as hub for the country’s commodities and consumer exports as well as imports. (Reporting by Jonathan Saul and Gus Trompiz; Editing by David Clarke and Louise Heavens)