Platts: French strikes were warning shots in battle for refinery jobs

|By:, SA News Editor

The recent strikes at French refineries likely were the first stage of a protracted battle between the country’s largest refiner, Total (TOT -0.2%), and its employees that will take shape in 2014, Platts' Olivier Lejeune writes.

At stake is the future of oil refining in France following the pledge made by TOT CEO Christophe de Margerie to keep all the company’s French refineries open until at least the start of 2015.

The Gonfreville and Donges refineries on the Atlantic coast, France’s two biggest refineries, recently were modernized and will stay open, but three plants which are smaller and produce a higher proportion of gasoline vs. diesel clearly are more at risk, Lejeune says.