Europe

France: Day of strikes, protests, fuel blockades over labor

  • The head of the French oil industry lobby, Francis Duseux of the Union francaise des industries petrolieres, answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press at his office in Paris, France, Thursday May 26, 2016. Francis Duseux said gasoline shortages are improving however since the government started sending police to force open fuel depots blocked by striking workers. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    The head of the French oil industry lobby, Francis Duseux of the Union francaise des industries petrolieres, answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press at his office in Paris, France, Thursday May 26, 2016. Francis Duseux said gasoline shortages are improving however since the government started sending police to force open fuel depots blocked by striking workers. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)  (The Associated Press)

  • A protestor holding a white rose runs from tear gas fired by police during a demonstration held as part of nationwide labor actions in Paris, Thursday, May 26, 2016. Paris police have detained people and scuffled with masked protesters as several thousand marched through the French capital to demand that the government scrap a labor bill. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    A protestor holding a white rose runs from tear gas fired by police during a demonstration held as part of nationwide labor actions in Paris, Thursday, May 26, 2016. Paris police have detained people and scuffled with masked protesters as several thousand marched through the French capital to demand that the government scrap a labor bill. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • Riot police officers detain a protestor during a demonstration held as part of nationwide labor actions in Paris, France, Thursday, May 26, 2016. French protesters scuffled with police, dock workers set off smoke bombs and union activists disrupted fuel supplies and nuclear plants Thursday in the biggest challenge yet to President Francois Hollande's government as it tries to give employers more flexibility (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    Riot police officers detain a protestor during a demonstration held as part of nationwide labor actions in Paris, France, Thursday, May 26, 2016. French protesters scuffled with police, dock workers set off smoke bombs and union activists disrupted fuel supplies and nuclear plants Thursday in the biggest challenge yet to President Francois Hollande's government as it tries to give employers more flexibility (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

Union activists are burning tires and blocking a major bridge on the northern French coast on a day of nationwide strikes and protests over a labor reform.

Demonstrators gathered early Thursday morning at a central square in the venerable port town of Harfleur, setting off fireworks and air horns.

Activists were unapologetic about the disruption they planned.

"We have to hit where it hurts," said union official Gilles Guyomard. "And where it hurts is the bosses' wallets."

The activists then went to the 2-kilometer-long Pont de Normandie, which bridges the Seine River at Le Havre, setting a pile of tires aflame and blocking toll booths.

Strikes and protests are being held around France on Thursday against a labor bill that extends the work week and makes layoffs easier.