Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What's in a name

A brief article in today's Wall Street Journal caught my eye. The picture appearing in the newspaper itself is not online, alas, but the article is still of interest.

Refinery Strike Prompts French Gas-Station Lines

Workers at oil giant Total SA's French refineries continued their strike Monday with no resolution in sight, prompting long lines at gas stations in France amid panic buying by car owners. Total suspended operations at its 137,000-barrel-a-day Flanders refinery on Sept. 15, after it said weak European product demand and depressed refining margins made it uneconomic to continue refining activities there. 

Workers at Total's French refineries first walked out last Tuesday to protest the company's move to postpone until the end of June a decision on whether to permanently shut down refining activities at the Flanders facility, near Dunkirk, in northern France.


French union Confederation Generale du Travail, or CGT, said that the industrial action at Total's refineries in France continued, with all of its six refineries still affected. Unions warned the strike could disrupt the country's refined-products supplies. On Monday, French Junior Minister for Industry Christian Estrosi insisted the government "will take measures so that France will not get stuck." He didn't elaborate.

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