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Total, unions reach pay deal.

Total's French refining operations have reached a pay rise deal with two unions, isolating the hardline CGT union, the company and a union official told Reuters.

The CGT, which represents around a quarter of the refining workers at Total's French refineries, remained on strike for a fourth day.

"This is a good compromise in the current economic climate. The deal is applicable for 19,000 workers," said Francois Pelegrina, a coordinator at the CFDT union at Total.

The endorsement of two unions was needed for a deal to go through and workers at one of Total's five French refineries - the 231,000-bpd Donges plant - voted to end their strike after news of the CFDT deal.

Workers at CGT-dominated sites at La Mede and Gonfreville voted to prolong their strike action while those at Total's Feyzin site dominated by the FO union also voted to do so.

The outcome of a vote at the 99,000-bpd Grandpuits refinery was not immediately clear. Feyzin near Lyon had been in ramp-up mode and workers there had voted to halt production before news of the union deal with management.

The CGT union was hoping to continue to garner support at Gonfreville and La Mede.

"The fact that the CFDT has signed is destabilising for workers. But even if they sign, now we're near shutdown, we want to continue," a CGT official said, adding a vote would be held around 2000 GMT in the two plants.

"Total's management is refusing to talk to us," another CGT official added.

Workers led by the CGT have been on strike over annual wage negotiations. Total's management offered basic annual pay rises of up to 1.5 per cent, which the CGT rejected.

A Total spokeswoman said when pay rises based on seniority and performance where taken into account, the pay rise offer was for as much as 3.5 per cent. The CGT union is calling on Total to re-open negotiations on wage increases as soon as possible.

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Publication:Oil & Gas News
Date:Dec 23, 2013
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