Protesters and police have clashed at the Paris headquarters of the French oil giant Total. About 300 demonstrators tried on Monday to break into the offices as anger boiled over in response to the company’s plans to shut down refining operations at its Dunkirk site in northwest France.
Total blames a sharp worldwide decline in demand for petroleum products. Assurances that two thirds of the current Dunkirk workforce will be retained as Total redevelops the site have fallen on deaf ears.
Union leaders say Total has underestimated the number of jobs to go and failed to consider the impact that closure of the refinery will have on the wider community and sub contractors.