Fears are growing that a strike by French Total workers could spread after talks over a possible refinery closure collapsed.
Eighty percent of the workforce took industrial action on Sunday calling for firm assurances over jobs at the Dunkirk plant.
Charles Foulard, CGT trade union official called on the government to make its position clear:
“ If not, we strongly fear that next week, a fuel shortage will be the order of the day,” he said.
France’s government insists Total has promised the plant will not close but unions want that in writing. Total owns six out of France’s 12 refineries and Exxon Mobil – whose workers plan to strike on Tuesday – own two others.
Unions accuse Total of delaying a decision over the Dunkirk site to avoid embarrassing the government ahead of regional elections in March.