Europe

French police force open fuel depot amid protests, shortages

  • A striking workers walks past a burning barricade preventing the access to a refinery in Fos sur Mer, southern France, Monday, May 23, 2016. The union-led blockade, one of several set up at refineries and depots across France, is aimed at securing the withdrawal of the country's labor reforms, which hopes to inject new life into the country's rigid labor market. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

    A striking workers walks past a burning barricade preventing the access to a refinery in Fos sur Mer, southern France, Monday, May 23, 2016. The union-led blockade, one of several set up at refineries and depots across France, is aimed at securing the withdrawal of the country's labor reforms, which hopes to inject new life into the country's rigid labor market. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)  (The Associated Press)

  • A muff coffers a gas station fuel pipe reading "Out of Service, Sorry For this Momentarily Embarrassment " in a gaz station closed for fuel shortage in the15th district, in Paris, Monday, May 23, 2016. Union-led blockades of French depots and oil refineries have led to fuel shortages and police action. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    A muff coffers a gas station fuel pipe reading "Out of Service, Sorry For this Momentarily Embarrassment " in a gaz station closed for fuel shortage in the15th district, in Paris, Monday, May 23, 2016. Union-led blockades of French depots and oil refineries have led to fuel shortages and police action. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • A banner reading in French "On strike" is pictured at the main entrance of the Grandpuits refinery where workers voted to strike in Grandpuits, east of Paris, France, Monday, May 23, 2016. The union-led blockade, one of several set up at refineries and depots across France, is aimed at securing the withdrawal of the country's labor reforms, which hopes to inject new life into the country's rigid labor market. (AP Photo/William Wilson Lewis III)

    A banner reading in French "On strike" is pictured at the main entrance of the Grandpuits refinery where workers voted to strike in Grandpuits, east of Paris, France, Monday, May 23, 2016. The union-led blockade, one of several set up at refineries and depots across France, is aimed at securing the withdrawal of the country's labor reforms, which hopes to inject new life into the country's rigid labor market. (AP Photo/William Wilson Lewis III)  (The Associated Press)

French police have dislodged protesters blocking a key fuel depot on the Mediterranean, as gasoline shortages spread around the country amid increasingly tense labor actions.

The CGT union reacted angrily to the overnight police advance on the depot at Fos-sur-Mer, where trucks resumed traffic Tuesday morning. Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Europe-1 radio that the site was "liberated" after days of blockades.

The striking workers want the government to abandon a labor reform that extends the work week, and are blocking refineries and fuel depots around the country.

The junior minister for transport, Alain Vidalies, said on i-Tele television that 20 percent of gas stations around the country are facing shortages as of Tuesday morning and unions are threatening to stop production at all of France's eight refineries.