December 17, 2013 / 10:10 AM / 6 years ago

Total workers extend strike at three French refineries: union

PARIS (Reuters) - A strike at Total’s (TOTF.PA) La Mede, Gonfreville and Feyzin refineries entered its fifth day on Tuesday, with workers at the hardline CGT/FO-dominated plants sticking with demands for bigger annual pay rises, a CGT union official said.

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

Workers at the 99,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Grandpuits plant near Paris are due to hold a vote at 1100 GMT (6:00 am EST) to decide whether or not to prolong the strike, the official added.

“The situation is still blocked with management, which is saying that pay increase deals should be negotiated locally instead of nationally,” he said.

Workers at the Donges plant near Nantes voted on Monday to pull out of the strike after the moderate CFDT and CGC unions signed a pay rise deal with management, isolating the CGT union, which represents around a quarter of Total’s refining workers.

Top CGT union officials at Total’s refineries were due to meet later on Tuesday to decide on strategy.

“We are not ready to break the movement and we still believe deals should be negotiated for all Total refinery workers,” he said.

CGT union officials say Total has offered a pay rise of up to 1.5 percent, but a Total spokeswoman said the pay package went up to 3.5 percent, including seniority and performance.

Feyzin had been in ramp-up mode and workers there voted on Monday to halt production, joining workers at La Mede and Gonfreville, where units were gradually shutting down.

France’s eight refineries have a production capacity of 1.4 million barrels per day, but focus on gasoline while French motorists mainly use diesel.

France imported 17-18 million tons of diesel in 2012 making up about half of its consumption.

Reporting by Muriel Boselli; Editing by Louise Heavens

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