Strikes hit Total's refineries in France

Doris Leblond
OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, Feb. 17 -- Total SA’s six refineries and 12 product depots in France have been hit by labor strikes supporting the Feb. 16 takeover by workers of the idle 137,000-b/d Dunkirk refinery.

The Dunkirk workers are calling for restart of the facility, where operations were suspended in mid-September 2009 (OGJ Online, Feb. 2, 2010).

Total has rescheduled for Mar. 29 a meeting at which the refinery's future will be outlined. But the workers want to know immediately what will happen to their jobs.

The trade unions claim that 95% of the workers at the Dunkirk, Donges, Grandpuits, Feyzin, Provence, and Normandy refineries are striking. The strike was scheduled for Feb. 17 and 18 but could be extended, they said.

Capacities at Total’s French refineries total about 1.1 million b/d.

Total spokesman Michel Crochet-Vourey told OGJ that 70-80% of the shift workers at the refineries were on strike and that only 12 of 41 depots are blocked.

“There is not a significant impact on supplies," he said.

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