Three French Total refineries in 11th day of pay strike

Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:51am EST
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PARIS (Reuters) - Workers at three of Total's (TOTF.PA: Quote) five oil refineries in France extended a strike over pay into an 11th day on Monday after those at a fourth plant agreed at the weekend to return to work.

Still affected by the strike being led by the CGT union are the Gonfreville refinery in Normandy, La Mede in the south and Feyzin near Lyon, CGT officials said.

"We're waiting for management to make a gesture," Frederic Ambrosio, a CGT official at La Mede said. "We've already been on strike for 10 days, this isn't a little two-day action."

Total said the strike was not threatening fuel supply, echoing comments made by France's oil industry lobby that last week played down comparisons with a 2010 strike which led to shortages at pumps.

"The current situation is not creating any major difficulty in fuel supply. All necessary measures have been taken to ensure deliveries during the holiday period," a spokeswoman said.

Striking workers at Gonfreville, Feyzin and La Mede on Monday blocked day staff from taking over from night teams, with the aim of leaving Total in breach of labor legislation limiting shifts to 12 hours, CGT officials said.


Workers at Feyzin also staged a go-slow protest on a motorway close to the refinery, disrupting traffic for about an hour and a half, a CGT official at the site said.

The CGT has rejected an annual pay offer that has been accepted by other unions at Total's refineries.   Continued...

General view of the French oil giant Total refinery of Grandpuits, southeast of Paris, October 13, 2010. REUTERS/Charles Platiau