Europe

French fuel blockades lead to police action, shortages

  • Union members on strike stand near burning barricade preventing the access to a refinery in Fos sur Mer, southern France, Monday, May 23, 2016.  Union-led blockades of French depots and oil refineries have led to fuel shortages and police action. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

    Union members on strike stand near burning barricade preventing the access to a refinery in Fos sur Mer, southern France, Monday, May 23, 2016. Union-led blockades of French depots and oil refineries have led to fuel shortages and police action. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)  (The Associated Press)

  • Striking union members discuss near a pile of tires as they block the entrance of a road leading to a refinery near Fos sur Mer, southern France, Monday, May 23, 2016.  Union-led blockades of French depots and oil refineries have led to fuel shortages and police action. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

    Striking union members discuss near a pile of tires as they block the entrance of a road leading to a refinery near Fos sur Mer, southern France, Monday, May 23, 2016. Union-led blockades of French depots and oil refineries have led to fuel shortages and police action. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)  (The Associated Press)

  • Union members on strike set up a pile of tires to block the entrance of a road leading to a refinery, background, in Fos sur Mer, southern France, Monday, May 23, 2016.  Union-led blockades of French depots and oil refineries have led to fuel shortages and police action. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

    Union members on strike set up a pile of tires to block the entrance of a road leading to a refinery, background, in Fos sur Mer, southern France, Monday, May 23, 2016. Union-led blockades of French depots and oil refineries have led to fuel shortages and police action. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)  (The Associated Press)

Union-led blockades of French depots and oil refineries have led to fuel shortages and police action.

French media are reporting a growing number of shortages at hundreds of gas stations across the country, including Paris, as union-led blockades snarl the delivery of gasoline.

Early Monday French Finance Minister Michel Sapin confirmed that authorities had dispersed one of the blockades, telling France's iTele broadcaster that the government would act when protests "were no longer legitimate."

The blockades are another consequence of France's disputed labor reforms, which have prompted a series of strikes and protests across the country in recent weeks.

France's ruling Socialists are trying to relax France's labor rules in a bid to bring more flexibility to the country's labor market, but they face stiff opposition.