By INTI LANDAURO
A French labor union representing workers from the country's
refineries and oil storages will strike for one day on Nov. 5
to oppose the closure of a fourth refinery in the country in
four years and demand the government to intervene to protect
The workers at all the refineries in the
country will walk out Nov. 5 to protest against the order of a
local court to liquidate the refinery of Petit-Couronne, on the
northern French coast, which belonged to insolvent Swiss-based
refiner Petroplus SA, unless a buyer for the plant appears by
"The strike is a protest against the possible
closure of the Petit-Couronne refinery, but also to demand a
solution to keep the industry afloat," Charles Foulard, a
leader of the CGT Union for the petrochemical industry, said
If no solution is found for the Petit-Couronne
refinery, it will be the fourth refinery to stop operating in the
country since 2009 as the French industry struggles to compete
with Asia and the Middle East, where costs are lower.
The CGT union representatives have asked the
government to nationalize refineries or enforce measures to
limit imports of refined fuels to protect the remaining
Petroplus, which operated five refineries in
Europe, filed for insolvency at the beginning of the year and
since then three of its refineries were sold and one has been
converted into a fuel terminal.
The company ran out of cash in January after struggling for
months with weak demand due to the economic slowdown in Europe
and overcapacity amid tighter credit conditions, high crude
prices and competition.
The workers of the Petit-Couronne refinery Wednesday blocked an oil
storage terminal owned by French company Rubis SCA in the
northern city of Rouen.
Dow Jones Newswires