Socialist Worker

Refinery workers demand a Total victory in France

Issue No. 2190

Total workers occupying management offices in the Flanders refinery last week.

Total workers occupying management offices in the Flanders refinery last week.

More than half of France’s oil refineries were on strike as Socialist Worker went to press.

The dispute began six weeks ago at Total’s Flanders oil refinery near Dunkirk.

On Tuesday, the dispute spread to ExxonMobil sites.

Some 70 percent of France’s oil refining capacity was then strike-bound.

Workers are striking against the mothballing of the Flanders refinery. They believe it will be the first of many closures.

Last week Total workers occupied management offices in the Flanders refinery. On Monday they voted to continue the strike, rejecting an offer from Total to redeploy workers when the refinery closes.

There are now all-out strikes at six refineries and seven Total fuel storage depots.

Workers at three other refineries voted to join the strike during the week.

Management has offered to keep Flanders open at a reduced capacity, but union negotiators say this is not enough.

Ikea strike

Ikea workers in France struck over pay last week and a group of workers occupied a Paris store.

Management were forced to negotiate after a strike closed five of its stores.

Workers want a 4 percent rise.

Air traffic controllers dispute

Air traffic controllers in France began a four-day strike on Tuesday of this week.

They are angry at job cuts and attacks on working conditions that will threaten passenger safety.

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Article information

Tue 23 Feb 2010, 19:25 GMT
Issue No. 2190
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