Employees at French petrol conglomerate Total on Thursday voted for an unlimited strike at all French plants to protest planned job cuts. Total accounts for around half of the country's petrol station supplies.
AFP - A call by workers for an "unlimited strike" at six French oil refineries owned by energy major Total on Thursday sparked fears of possible supply cuts as some of the plants face closure.
The management of Total, which is under pressure after announcing possible job cuts last month, said there was "a hardening of the movement" since unions on Wednesday had only announced a two-day strike.
The company added: "At this stage there is no sign of supply disruption."
The director of the Feyzin refinery, Jean-Pierre Poncin, said however that "if the strike continues, there will be tension in the Rhone-Alpes region (in southern France) in the coming days" since some oil depots were also on strike.
Employees on Thursday voted for "an unlimited strike at all the plants" in France, Charles Foulard, a leader of the CGT trade union at Total, told AFP.
The refineries affected by the strike are Feyzin, Gonfreville-L'Orcher, Donges, Grandpuits, La Mede and Dunkirk, which has been idle since September.
Total accounts for around half of France's petrol station supplies.
The energy giant last month said it was studying a permanent closure of the Dunkirk refinery, which employs 370 people directly and 450 sub-contractors.
Total has come under pressure from the government to guarantee jobs after President Nicolas Sarkozy said that fighting unemployment was a priority.
Date created : 2010-02-19