Ten lorryloads of toys have left France for Britain to be distributed to the children of striking mineworkers for Christmas.
SCU Sign "Montreuil" at CGT Union headquarters
SVs Truck backing in to headquarters as woman waves French and British flags, banner and man saying "Solidarite" and man loads boxes on to truck (4 shots)
GV/SVs Trade union leader Henri Krazuki speaking (FRENCH SOT) as crowd applauds (4 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Ten lorryloads of toys have left France for Britain to be distributed to the children of striking mineworkers for Christmas. The toys and other gifts left the headquarters of the French trade union, the Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT), in the Parisian district of Montreuil on December 13. The secretary-general of the communist-led CGT, Henri Krazuki, was among those supervising last details before the departure of the convoy. As the trucks headed for the coast, Mr Krazuki said the gifts were an expression of French workers' solidarity with the British miners who have been on strike for ten months over pit closures and job losses in the coal industry. In his address, Mr Krazuki said French trade unionists were fulfilling an earlier promise to provide a gift worthy of Christmas for the children of all British miners on strike. The promise was made following a visit to the CGT by the president of Britain's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Arthur Scargill. Last month, the CGT sent 400 tonnes of food to the British miners intercepted a train carrying French coal for Britain and overturned 120 wagons. Expressions of solidarity between French and British miners are not new. In 1968, in the De Gaulle era, British miners provided similar backing to French miners on strike.