French oil major Total said on Monday it had begun procedures to restart its La Mede refinery near Marseille, which management had decided to halt after the CGT union called a strike against plans to stop crude processing.
“A majority of this morning shift’s workers are not on strike, so the first restart manoeuvres have been decided,” a spokesman for Total told Reuters, adding that a full ramp-up will take several days.
Total intends to halt crude oil processing at its 153,000 barrels-per-day La Mede site near Marseille by the end of 2016 as demand for petroleum products declines in Europe.
The hardline CGT union had launched an unlimited strike at the plant on Thursday and had threatened to extend it to the entire oil sector in France.
Around 18 employees out of 430 had joined the action, a company spokesman had said over the weekend.