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France Braces for Potential Halt of Oil Refineries Amid Strike

  • Workers will vote Friday on whether to strike at eight plants
  • Gasoline shortages already affecting some parts of country

France is bracing for a possible interruption of operations at its refineries Friday in an escalation of union protests against labor-law changes that have already disrupted the country’s fuel supplies.

Union members from the Confederation Generale du Travail will vote at around noon Friday on whether to stop work at the nation’s oil refineries, said Emmanuel Lepine, the union’s representative for the oil industry. Protesting workers have already disrupted truck shipments from fuel depots, causing shortages in northern France, he said. Prime Minister Manuel Valls threatened Thursday to use police to lift the blockades.