French fishermen awaiting the outcome of negotiations halted efforts to blockade major ports Thursday. The fishermen's decision, combined with the threat of further action by French naval units, kept maritime traffic in most ports moving smoothly.
The head of France's second-biggest union said that his group "wants to transform the discussions into real negotiations? and that if all parties bargained seriously the 18-day-old conflict "could be cleared before the end of this week." But another labor leader warned that the biggest labor group, the Communist-run General Labor Confederation, doesn't seem to want to end the conflict.