The Federation of the Chemical Industry, part of the French CGT labor
union, has called on staff at refineries and at other companies in the chemical
sector, to extend their industrial action against the government’s pension
reform and block deliveries from plants Tuesday-Thursday next week.
This follows the previous call to block deliveries from refineries
January 7-10. Separately, the Federation of Port and Dock Workers, part of
French CGT labor union, has called for a halt of operations between over the
same period next week, after calling for a similar halt of port operations from
January 9 until 11.
French labor unions called employees in
all sectors for industrial action against govt’s pension reforms
French labor unions, including the CGT, FO and FSU, called on
employees in all sectors to take part in industrial action against the
government’s pension reforms. The on-off strike, which started December 5, has
been extended several times and has now entered a second month. The next day of
nationwide protests is planned for January 14.
Effect of industrial action
Deliveries have been blocked from Total’s Feyzin, Fos-sur-Mer, Lavera,
Grandpuits, Donges, Gonfreville and La Mede biofuel plant, but the oil major
said that the refineries continue to operate and stock product, with less than
5% of the staff having joined the industrial action.
Product loadings have also been disrupted on an intermittent basis
from ExxonMobil’s refinery at Fos-sur-Mer in southern France, but have faced
only limited disruption at the company’s Gravenchon refinery.
Union sources say staff at Petroineos’ Lavera have resumed the
shutdown of units after a pause over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Staff
at the plant started shutting units in December, the CGT said earlier. The
company declined to comment.
The Federation of the Chemical Industry said the shutdown of the steam
cracker at Naphtachimie Lavera by the union, would lead to the halting of other
plants in the region.
Despite problems in six out of seven
refineries, supplies to retail stations normal says the ministry
According to the ministry of ecology earlier this week, six out of the
seven refineries have problems with deliveries, but nonetheless supplies to
retail stations remains normal.
France has a total of 200 oil terminals as well as terminals at
refineries, with only a negligible number of terminals experiencing problems
with deliveries over the past week, the ecology ministry and Total said.
More than 98% of the 11,000 service stations still have normal
supplies, the ecology ministry also said. As of Thursday, only 54 of Total’s
3,500 stations had delivery problems.
Despite the blockades, there has been only a small increase of demand
for diesel imports into France, though this was also attributed to the
intermittent strike at ports.
Operations have been disrupted on and off at Le Havre, Rouen, Brest,
Lorient, Donges and St. Nazaire, La Pallice, Bordeaux, as well as the Fluxel
operated Fos and Lavera oil terminals in the Mediterranean and at the CIM oil
terminal at Le Havre.
France has enough stocks cover more than
three months’ demand says Ministry
Hence, France has had to use some of its strategic stocks, market
sources said in December. France held 106 days of net imports in crude and
product stocks at the end of September, well above the 90-day requirement of
the International Energy Agency. The ecology ministry said Wednesday that
France has enough stocks cover more than three months’ demand.