French union threatens refinery shutdowns, halt to oil deliveries to protest pension reform

Unions representing French oil workers have called for strikes against President Emmanuel Macron's pension reforms, threatening a repeat of the refinery and depot closures that caused chaos for motorists last year.

The walkouts planned for January 19 and 26 and February 6 would include "shutdowns of refinery installations if necessary," said Eric Sellini, national coordinator of the CGT union federation at energy giant TotalEnergies.

A walkout on January 19 will coincide with a national day of strikes and demonstrations, backed by all France's major trade union federations, against Macron's pension plans.

Worker representatives object to the government's proposed raising of the legal retirement age by two years, to 64, and faster increases in the minimum number of years of contributions required to receive a full pension.

A 24-hour strike by oil workers on January 19 could be followed up by 48 hours from January 26 and 72 hours from February 6.