Trucks are parked on the M20 motorway near Ashford in Kent
Lille - AFP
The port at Calais in northern France was due to partially re-open from 1800 GMT Wednesday, a union leader said, as ferry workers suspended protests that have blocked access for three consecutive days.
Ahead of a meeting with Transport Minister Alain Vidalies on Thursday morning, the workers "will maintain pressure on the ships, but will let boats from the company P&O enter one by one... until the end of the negotiations," said Eric Vercoutre, secretary general of the Maritime Nord union.
The workers from French company MyFerryLink are protesting plans to sell off some of their ferries to rival Danish firm DFDS, a move expected to result in hundreds of job losses.
The protest caused havoc on both sides of the Channel, with British police closing off sections of motorway to park some 3,000 trucks waiting to board ferries to France at Dover.
British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to French President Francois Hollande about the problem and Britain's ambassador to France Peter Ricketts was expected to visit Calais to speak with port officials.