An “unlimited strike” at six French oil refineries owned by Total has sparked fears of fuel shortages across the country.
Total accounts for around half of France’s petrol station supplies.
Now. the oil workers’ union is calling on staff at rival company refineries for support.
Charles Foulard, a senior official with the CGT union, said: “For the past two days, the six refineries have not been delivering a single drop of petrol to consumers and petrol stations. To show our determination, both to the government and to the Total group, we have decided to go to the final phase – that is to say the total stopping of refining of crude oil to show that we are ready to last the course.”
The potential widening of the action poses a real threat of fuel shortages at the petrol pumps which is causing consternation on the forecourts.
One angy motorist said: “It is clear that there are people who are not happy. But this system of strikes in France is an illness. Strikers are taking people hostage and I don’t think that it will have the desired effect.”
The dispute centres around plans to close a Total refinery in Dunkirk with the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs.
French oil refinery strike action set to spread